Draft Review

SEA HAWKS 2019 Draft Review

Whether you agree with the players this team selects from year to year or not, you cannot argue that their team is built primarily thru their Drafts, and they have a knack for finding players who fit their schemes. GM JOHN SCHNEIDER also seems to have a knack for wheeling and dealing throughout the process, to end up with the volume needed to select a healthy number of draftees. Starting with the 2016 Draft, the team has made 10, 11, 9 and 11 Picks, in chronological order. So here are their 11 selections for this year.

Round 1, Pick 29
L.J. COLLIER DL TCU
6’2 283 4.94/40 PP#60
COLLIER is a player who really came on as a senior. While most folks were busy watching his teammate BEN BANOGU, COLLIER came into bloom, and asserted himself as an edge rusher in 2018. In his 42 T’s, he recorded 11.5 TFL & 6 S’s, as well as 5 QBH’s. He’s quick off the snap and can bring the pressure from the inside. He plays very low, which frustrates taller blockers. His strong, quick hands also help him steer clear of and around would be blockers. Each time I watched TCU games trying to concentrate on BANOGU, I ended up hitting replay to also watch this man impact the games. A typical SEA HAWKS defender who plays through the whistle with a lot of energy. He fits their scheme better than he does with some other teams. He has a chance to replace the productivity that they lost in trading FRANK CLARK away for Cap reasons.

Round 2, Pick 47
MARQUISE BLAIR FS UTAH
6’1 195 4.46/40 PP#195
I heard some positive talk about BLAIR last October. I watched a couple of UTAH games with him on my radar, and did NOT see anything special. Then he was at the Senior Bowl, and I waited to see him flash his wares. He didn’t show me much there either. He didn’t post any great numbers at the Combine either. He has small hands, (8 1/4″), and relatively average arm length, (30 3/4″). As you can see by my rating at #195, he was a 6th Rounder to me. I have seen some comparisons to KAM CHANCELLOR, which I find absurd. KAM was much bigger 230 lbs. or so, while BLAIR does not even touch 200 lbs. In fact, if BLAIR doesn’t control his physical nature he may knock himself out of action at the next level of play. So in general, I have not seen anything that strikes me as special enough to make him a Top 100, 2nd Round Pick. If he shows much as a pro mark me down as surprised, and a poor judge of DB talent.

Round 2, Pick 64
D.K. METCALF WR OLE MISS
6’3 228 4.36/40 PP#35
Before the Draft took place, the SEA HAWKS pretty much knew that DOUG BALDWIN was not likely to come back for the 2019 season, having used up his body as a pro. After watching METCALF explode at the Combine, CARROLL/SCHNEIDER decided to roll the dice on a freakish athlete and workout warrior. METCALF has more to show for his work in shorts, than his production on the grass, in pads. He suffered a neck injury early in the 2018 season, and had only 26 catches for 569 yards and 5 TD’s. He can run past and thru defenders and has OL measurements, with 9 7/8″ hands and 34 7/8″ arms. That sub-4.40/40-time is startling at almost 230 lbs. His muscular body may work against him, relative to his flexibility. Some worry that he will be a muscle-bound failure, ala DAVID BOSTON, a decade ago, or more. This guy bears watching closely. To me he’s a boom/bust project.

Round 3, Pick 88
CODY BARTON IB UTAH
6’3 237 4.62/40 PP#204
BARTON is another smart and productive football player, who I had heard was moving up some draft boards in mid-April. I double checked his Combine numbers, and still didn’t see him going until Round 4. He certainly isn’t moving WAGNER out of the starting job, but it may not be too long before he gets out on the field, beside WAGNER, in 2-LB sets. His 2018 stats for the UTES were impressive: 116 T’s, 10.5 TFL, 4 S’s, 6 PBU’s, 3 QBH’s, 1 INT, and 1 FF. That is a very solid indicator of his versatility. He should fit nicely in their system and organization.

Round 4, Pick 120
GARY JENNINGS WR WEST VIRGINIA
6’1 214 4.43/40 PP#116
This pick is why it is always nice to have extra selections when the Draft rolls around. JENNINGS may not have the size/speed numbers of METCALF, but he does have a solid college resume’ to point to. His work in 2018 was solid, especially his propensity to get into the end zone. On 54 catches, for just under 1,000-yards, he caught 13 TD throws. His 9 5/8″ hands are reliable, and his play is fairly physical with defenders. He seems to play a little faster than his testing time would indicate. If METCALF struggles, JENNINGS could be the guy to step up for QB RUSSELL WILSON. JENNINGS is the guy with the more substantial college resume’ to vouch for his pro readiness.

Round 4, Pick 124
PHIL HAYNES OG WAKE FOREST
6’4 322 5.18/40 P#190
HAYNES is a powerful guy who should come in handy, as an inside brawler, to open holes between the tackles for their running game. They signed vet MIKE IUPATI in Free Agency to start at LG, but given IUPATI’s recent injury issues, HAYNES may get a chance to start sooner than originally expected. He is solid in pass-pro, and is strong throughout his entire body. At the Combine, he Bench Pressed the bar 33 times, with an arm length of 33 1/2″. He has both physical and mental toughness. I smell starter here, and maybe sooner than many think.

Round 4, Pick 122
UGO AMADI S OREGON
5’9 199 4.60/40 PP#266
There were a couple of talent evaluators who were impressed with AMADI’s play, including DJ from NFLN. I was not in their camp on him. His size/speed combination leaves a bit to be desired. However, I see two things in his favor. His stats clearly indicate some serious ball skills, with 8 PBU’s & 3 INT’s, with 2 of those 3 INT’s being Pick-6 plays. He is also a tough little guy who should find multiple Special Teams roles to fill. He should be able to fill a few roles in their sub-packages.

Round 5, Pick 142
BEN BURR-KIRVEN LB WASHINGTON
6’0 230 4.59/40 PP#152
Other than being a tad short, this guy offers just about everything you could ask of a LB in today’s NFL. His 2018 stats are mind numbing overall: 176 T’s, 4 FF’s, 6 PBU’s, and 2 INT’s. That tackle total led all FBS defenders for the 2018 season. He has great eyes to see what is going on around him, whether in stopping the run or providing coverage. He uses his hands well to get off “would be” blockers. He’s certainly not moving in on BOBBY WAGNER’s job, but when the team goes into a 2-LB formation, he could be a desirable partner for WAGNER. He should also provide a boost to Special Teams with his mobility and tackling instincts. For my money, this guy is a very good value at the Pick. He should be a big fan favorite with his HUSKIES pedigree and hustling style of play.

Round 6, Pick 204
TRAVIS HOMER RB MIAMI (F)
5’10 201 4.46/40 PP#144
He had some impressive games for the HURRICANES during his career. Then again, he was pretty ineffective at times, as well. His speed is good, and his hand size, (10″), and arm length, (31 1/2″), are solid for his overall frame. He has shown the ability to catch well coming out of the backfield. He is a willing blocker in pass-pro, but many matchups with larger defenders are not going to go his way. I was pleasantly surprised when Ourlads Combine numbers indicated that he ranked as the 7th most athletic RB out of the 24 at the Combine. The team already has a solid RB corps when everyone is healthy, but that has been less often than they would like. HOMER should a get shot in Training Camp to take a job away from an oft-injured guy like C.J. PROSISE.

Round 6, Pick 209
DEMARCUS CHRISTMAS DT FLORIDA STATE
6’3 295 5.09/40 PP#225
CHRISTMAS had a very up and down career for the SEMINOLES, and some of it might be attributable to his varying weight and bulk. Put me on the list of guys who loved him in 2018, when he got down to about 300 lbs. However, I also saw a fat guy with little energy or burst in 2017, when he was well over 300 lbs. One has to question his desire to compete and to stay in shape to do so. Word is, that Defensive Coordinator KEN NORTON likes his technique inside. I hope NORTON has the time to baby-sit him and to push the right buttons to keep him motivated. He’s a project, but it is Round 6 after all.

Round 7, Pick 201
JOHN URSUA WR/RS HAWAII
5’9 178 4.58/40 PP#NR
I’m a bit surprised with this one, in part because they had already taken 2 other wideouts with earlier Picks. URSUA was built for a slot position, and is quicker than he is fast. He may make a nice open target, using his quicks off the snap to gain initial separation on 3rd and short situations. He may also compete for a Return Specialist job.

The key word with a lot of these guys is “compete” and that is a by-word of the PETE CARROLL regime. They take certain guys that they see fitting in with them, that other teams would just ignore. This is quite the mixed bag of player types and position needs. Once again, I was amazed at the trade maneuvering by SCHNEIDER, and his end result, you see above. I also get the impression that he and CARROLL are incredibly simpatico in their thinking on players to bring in who will fit in their locker room, as well as on the field. Mark it down as yet another solid Draft for the SeaHawks.

Pigskin