Seahawks Insider

Hawks need a home run hitter

Post by Eric Williams on March 25, 2009 at 12:56 pm with 87 Comments »
March 25, 2009 12:56 pm


There’s been a lot of talk out in the ether about the Seattle Seahawks drafting a running back early in the draft. And I agree they could use some depth at running back.


Specifically, I think the Seahawks need a speed back – a guy who can break the big play and work in as a nice compliment to the hard-nosed running style of Julius Jones and bruiser T.J. Duckett.



Don’t get me wrong, Jones is plenty fast. He ran a 4.51 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine when he came out of Notre Dame in 2004. However, I’m thinking of guys like Chris Johnson with Tennessee (4.29), Felix Jones with Dallas (4.44) or Steve Slaton (4.44) with the Houston Texans, guys who can change the complexion of a game with one play by bursting through the line of scrimmage and sprinting past the secondary for a long touchdown run. Also, both of those guys are players who you want to get out in space out in the flat in passing situations as well.


This is why I don’t think Seattle will be interested in Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno with the No. 4 pick. Moreno is a talented back – a high-effort guy who grinds out yards every time he touches the ball. But I do not see the explosiveness of someone like Johnson or Slaton when he touches the ball. He ran a 4.62 at the combine, which puts him in the middle of the pack for running backs. He didn’t fare much better at Georgia’s pro day, running a 4.60 and 4.63, and I don’t think he’s not going to run past anybody when he gets into the secondary in the NFL. I think Moreno is too much like Jones, and the Seahawks could better use someone like Johnson or Slaton.


They might consider someone like Connecticut’s Donald Brown (4.51) or LeSean McCoy (4.50) from Pittsburgh if they’re still around in the second around, or even Boise State’s Ian Johnson (4.46) later in the draft. All of these guys ran in the high 4.4s or low 4.5s. And all are pretty good pass catchers out of the backfield, and would offer a nice change of pace to Jones and Duckett.


I also like Nighthawk2’s suggestion of trying to pry Jerious Norwood (4.33) from the Atlanta falcons. That guy is explosive and would add another dimension to the Hawks’ offense if they could get someone like that. Who are some other running backs you think Seattle should consider? Let me know in the comments section.

Categories:
NFL Draft
Leave a comment Comments → 87
  1. Ruskell caught a lot of flack for losing Forsett last year (only to later get him back). He may not be a blazer, but he could be good in space. He seems like an ideal change of pace type of player (as you mention, to complement the other two). I can see Ruskell going defense in Round 1 and letting JJ, Duckett, Forsett, Schmitt (and a back-up FB TBD) go into the season at that position. This scenario does me no good in my Moreno rants, but I doubt Ruskell cares what I think (or we’d still have Hutch — but I’m dumb).

  2. halfemptyfilms says:

    LeSean McCoy*

  3. “However, I’m thinking of guys like Chris Johnson with Tennessee (4.29)… ”

    let’s not forget willie parker, who allegedly ran 4.21 in college. oh, how it smarts still…

  4. Eric Williams says:

    BobbyK: You’re right. I haven’t forgotten about Forsett. I like him. I think he might be more elusive than some of the backs I mentioned, but I don’t think he has the kind of speed these other backs have. I still think he’ll be in the mix somewhere.

    Halfemptyfilms: Thanks for the catch. It’s been corrected.

    Marcyun: I forgot about Parker. That’s a good addition.

  5. Jeremiah Johnson out of Oregon.

  6. vichawkfan says:

    no burner RB’s in this draft. Matt Stafford ran a 4.80 which puts him about bottom 3rd among RB times.

  7. Dirtdawg says:

    I LOVE greene from iwoa 5/11 235 the next marion barber com on ruskell

  8. javon ringer is pretty quick.

  9. nighthawk2 says:

    Well thank you Eric, I appreciate that. Never understood why the Falcons didn’t make him their feature back, and signed Turner instead. Can’t argue with anyone wanting Michael Turner, but RB didn’t seem like the biggest need for them. Maybe Norwood just got lost in the coaching carousel there; he was drafted in Mora’s last year, that ugly mess with Patrino was in his second year, and then yet another new coach comes in for his third year and that’s when they sign Michael Turner, and Norwood is an afterthought. Kind of reminds me of Ahman Green’s time here (outside of Green’s fumbling issues). Dennis Erickson drafted Green in the 3rd round (where Norwood was drafted), then in comes Holmgren and his guy Rikey Watters plays ahead of Green, even in the last game of the 99 season we needed to win in order to win the division and get in the playoffs, vs. the Jets. Holmgren stuck with an injured and ineffective Watters when Green was healthy and we lost, but KC’s loss let us win the division. Then we trade Green to the Packers when Alexander is drafted and he has a fine career there, sort of like Atlanta signing Turner.

    I kind of like Andre Brown from N.C. State, he ran a 4.47 at the combine, with 24 reps on the bench press and a 37 inch vertical, so he seems like a guy with agility and speed to go with his 224 pounds. There’s an injury issue with his foot from 2007, but he seems to have recoverd. Here’s something off the NFLDraftScouts/CBS Sports thing I’ve posted off of before:

    “Overview:
    Brown never produced a 1,000-yard rushing season for the Wolfpck, but he also never had more than 175 carries. He reached that number his senior year, totaling 767 yards and seven touchdowns despite coming off two surgeries on a fractured left foot suffered in 2007. Brown was also the second-leading receiver for the WolfPack in 2008 with 29 catches for 309 yards and two scores. NFL teams running a zone-blocking scheme feel he’s a nice fit for their one-cut-and-go system.”

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/584399

  10. “Weaknesses:
    Just average size and bulk with a maxed out frame…Not a blazer and isn’t going to run away from people in the pros…Isn’t real strong or powerful…Not a great short-yardage runner…Not overly elusive in space… Has room to improve as a blocker …Only one year as a starter”

  11. I’m talking about Donald Brown

  12. nighthawk2 says:

    Is that regarding Brown, JacDG, or one of the other backs mentioned?

  13. Hey, here’s an idea, how about giving Forsett the damn ball.

  14. A homerun hitting RB, that burns everyone isn’t really in this draft the way i see it, there aren’t any RB’s under 4.4 so if we want a guy like that we need to go with this guy:

    Strengths: Moore is a fast paced back with great top end playing speed. More than just a track star, Moore has real football skills. He can burn defenses with his speed and cutback ability. His speed allows him to be a dangerous perimeter threat running the ball. Has great balance and has a great jump cut that makes defenders miss. He does a nice job of following blocks and knowing when to cutback. He will run the ball back inside, rather than take everything wide. He has nice soft hands, and can create matchup problems on screens against linebackers. Moore can run deep routes well, and is a natural as a receiver. He shows a willingness as a pass blocker and overall is experienced in the passing game.

    Weaknesses: Moore’s toughness can cause him troubles. He is not afraid of contact, but takes too many unnecessary hits. He leaves the ball exposed when running and is susceptible to fumbling. He runs too upright for a short runner and leaves his body exposed to too many hits. As a pass blocker he will lunge at the rusher, rather than take him on. When he doesn’t lunge as the rusher, he stands with too narrow of a base. Moore has only average overall strength. He is a slight running back with limited bulk and height. His upper body especially is muscular, but much too thin. He likely is not a full time player at the next level and has little special teams experience.

    Overall: Moore was productive at Wyoming, but against suspect competition. He struggled in the Texas vs The Nation game against more elite competition. The team that drafts him will have to use him in sub-packages and maximize his matchups. He is not going to be a player who can get 20 carries a game and be effective. His skills make him an ideal backup running back and return specialist, although he has little experience as the latter.

  15. Here are some Pro Day times for Wyoming star Devin Moore, that we got from a source close to tailback: 40 yard dash: 4.33 & 4.35; Vertical Leap: 38.5″; 20 yard shuttle: 4.06; Bench Press 28.

    So this is the type we need, and it seems he is going to do exactly what we need him to do, so go get :D

  16. nighthawk2 says:

    Sorry JacDG, hadn’t seen your follow up post when I asked that.

  17. moore also has legal problems. its not happening

  18. I going to quote myself here

    “A homerun hitting RB, that burns everyone isn’t really in this draft the way i see it” few lines later “He can burn defenses with his speed and cutback ability. His speed allows him to be a dangerous perimeter threat running the ball”

    Whuups gonna do a little better research next time, but Moore is a failry interesting player

  19. freedom_X says:

    Regarding Norwood, he hasn’t been that durable for Atlanta to my recollection. He gets dinged up a lot. I certainly don’t think he has yet shown he can be a bell-cow back carrying 20 times a game. I think Norwood likes to dance a bit looking to break the home-run instead of getting what’s there. That’s OK in a change of pace back but not from a featured runner. I thought he was a bit thin for a #1 back.

    40 yard dash doesn’t equate to home-run ability – if it did, we could just convert a wide receiver like Jordan Kent to play RB. If the guy showed breakaway ability in college, going up against major competition, that trumps 40 yard dash speed (which can be improved by just using proper track technique, but doesn’t make a player faster on the field with a ball under their arm.) Granted, if a guy runs 4.28 in the 40, he’s pretty fast by any measure.
    I’m talking about guys who time well but didn’t show it on the field.

    Also, even if they did hit home runs, you have to look at how they did it – did the O-line just tear open a huge hole and the guy just ran at full speed through it, not having to cut or change speeds? Or did they do it the way almost all pros will have to – cut a bit, break some contact, then accelerate away from the defense? Not many huge seams open to pro running backs, unlike college.

  20. If we only need a Home Run hitter, we could try to sign Albert Pujols after the baseball season is over.

  21. nighthawk2 says:

    I don’t know that we’d need a guy who can carry 20 times a game if what we’re looking for is a speed guy to put in the backfield sometimes. Sproles certainly isn’t a guy who’s going to carry 20 times a game, and I don’t think the Texans view Slaton that way either.

  22. Eric Williams says:

    Freedom X: I agree that 40 yard dash speed doesn’t equate to home-run ability — to a point. Yes, a running back has to have the ability to shed tackler and make people miss to get to the secondary. However, once there a running back has to be able to elude the fastest people in the field, and that’s the cornerbacks. And you’re not running away from a cornerback with 4.6 speed. That’s where the 40-yard dash time comes into play. And that’s why you see guys like Johnson, Slaton and Parker making big plays.

    You’re right, you can’t convert a speed receiver into a running back because they don’t have the running skills to get through the trenches. But you still have to have the top-end speed as a running back to make big plays.

  23. I agree with Eric on a couple levels: We need a speed back, there aren’t many in this year’s draft.

    I listened to the First Draft show from ESPN radio from 3/24/09, and they were talking about how slow the track was at the combine. The fastest corner at this year’s combine would not have been in the top ten in corner times in 2008. Now I can understand that this year’s class might not be as fast as last year, but no one in the top ten last year, that is not right. The point of the conversation is the 40 track this year in Indy was slow, so don’t over emphasize the 40 times this year.

    The slow track contributed to no running back running a really fast time this year. I think Donald Brown is the best option for the Seahawks, he is durable and versatile. He rushed for more than 2,000 yards last season. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. He is a lot like JJ, but I think he is the best option for the Seahawk’s and a long term solution at the position. He should be available with our second round pick.

    I think Brian Orakpo has a very good chance of being picked at #4 by the Hawks. Many of the scouts are focusing on using him as an outside linebacker in the 3-4, the fact is, he is the best pass rush defensive end in this draft. With Kearney’s age and health problems, and the question marks around Tapp\Lojack\Adkins\Redding there is substantial need at the position.

  24. hawks4372 says:

    Brian Orakpo is not worth the #4 pick in the draft. He’s much more Darryl Tapp than he is Dwight Freeney- and that’s a bad thing. I don’t want two Darryl Tapps. I appreciate the non-stop motor and the effort and the will to work and all that, but more than anything I want the fear of Science to be put in the offense and Orakpo doesn’t do it. He’s not a natural pass rusher- he gets his sacks and his highlights against big, lumbering tackles like Loadholt from Oklahoma. There aren’t many Loadholts in the League. Athletic tackles handle Orakpo with ease, as did a tight end (Pettigrew) for crying out loud. We don’t need to give a $20 million signing bonus to a liability against the run and a guy who will only get coverage sacks against inferior players.

    Monroe, Smith or Crabtree at 4. No one else (besides Curry) is worth it.

  25. ryanryan says:

    first, Eric – terrific post. Everyone can agree to that I’m sure.

    And thanks also to coming back to the post and engaging in the ongoing comments. in the words of the great billy madison, “thats quack-tastick”.

    I agree that Moreno isn’t the answer (sorry Bk), there isn’t anything he can do that JJ cannot. My only worry with drafting a running back to spell him is his own ego. he seems to be a little bit of a crybaby when it comes to touches and if we draft a rb that is (in his own mind, he is a homerun hitter) a “homerun hitter” without any experience in the league he will pout and become a cancer in the lockerroom and at LEAST on the sideline.

    Also, this offense (IMO) isn’t a homerun rushing offense. It is a bust 6-7 yards at a time (and HOPEFULLY every time) scheme that breaks down the defensive front 7 early in the game forcing over-reactive changes that open up homerun type plays.

    I don’t think we need a homerun hitter rb within this scheme, we need a serviceable rb who hits the hole quick and can make a cut once they reach the lb.

    so i guess i think we could use another rb, just not one drafted earlier than the 3rd round.

    of course, this is only my opinion.

  26. Until 5 years from now when one of those 3 is a bust and people are talking about some late first or second round pick (or later) as being bound for the Pro Football HOF. Then I doubt teams will say someone wasn’t deserving of being taken at #4.

    I bet the Raiders would rather have Marques Colston than Michael Huff (#7). But if they would have done that, people would have talked even more about what morons they are even though they would have ended up with a better player. Don’t make sense. Don’t mess with the experts though — they are always right (Reggie Bush is the next Gale Sayers, Troy Williamson is in the next almost Randy Moss, Vernon Davis has revolutionized the TE position, etc.).

  27. Terrell Davis was perfect for the zone blocking Broncos. Not a HR hitter like Ryan Howard, but a damn good RB.

  28. ryanryan says:

    I admire your heart bk…you love that moreno. and of course time will ALWAYS tell. heck, you convinced me…lets get moreno with the #4 pick and kiss any kind of mentorship (like weaver got from strong) from JJ away from him cause running backs don’t need it.

    this is jest of course, and some ribbing as well (no DK, not hitting the sauce). rb’s seem to come and go in this scheme and we have enough in JJ to try it out this year IMO. lets get an OL beast early and roll the dice.

    Eric – What do you think the effects of our new blocking scheme will have on Walt? Seems like diving at peoples legs and getting up and down all game long will fatigue his already worn body. Am I wrong? Im worried and have posted this question before without any response from moderator and participants. Anyone have an opinion?

  29. Hawks4372 doesn’t agree with Orakpo at #4, will have to do more research to see if his criticisms are valid or if he is just blowing smoke like BobbyK constantly does.

  30. They talked about Brown on the NFL network.On the draft show at 3:30 PDT.They will show it again to night an tomorrow morning.
    They also had Brain Orakpo damn what a beast.

  31. CDN_C_Hawk says:

    I agree, having a speed back would create problems for defenses, but not so sure, the position is as pressing as others in the first 4 rounds. I like D, Brown, and recall one of the NFL Network guys, stating, he will be better than Matt Forte, which is hard to pass up on. I think we can get a quailty back with the 5th round pick. Kory Sheets from Purdue. 5’11/208.. 4:39 40yd and a important time, is, the 1:44 first 10yd time. shows he can hit holes very quick. I see he is moving up the boards, and is a bit of a reach with the 137th pick, but not much.

  32. I can’t blog for a few minutes because I have to go blow some smoke.

  33. rockoutwithyourhawko says:

    How the hell was Alexander able to bust of 80+ yard runs, does anyone know what his 40 times were?

  34. freedom_X says:

    Alexander ran about 4.6 coming out of college. He was not a speed back. But good instincts, and most importantly, good blocking, helped rip off the big runs. Not just the O-line, but the receivers can be crucial to help a back tear off the long run. If the WR’s don’t get some blocks even the sprinter types aren’t able to take it the distance.

    He also knew how to use the end-zone TV. Back in 2005, when he had that long run against the Cardinals, he cut back against the overpursuing Cardinal defense to get in the clear. Adrian Wilson was in pursuit. I would always bet on Wilson against Alexander in a footrace, especally if Alexander has to tote the football.

    Wilson was caught up with Alexander around the Cardinal 30 yd line if I recall correctly, but just as Wilson lunged to make the tackle Alexander cut and Wilson missed. Alexander said he used the TV screen to watch Wilson without having to turn his head (which would have slowed him down) and made the move just as he saw Wilson try to bring him down.

    Still, Alexander outran most of the other guys too, so despite “4.6” or slower speed, he was able to make a big play, and had NFL speed. That’s why his decline from his best season to out of the league in 3 years was a big surprise to me. It’s hard to believe age made him totally ineffective in such a short time span, from his best season ever to nothing in less than 3 years.

  35. williambryan says:

    Freedom_x,
    good analysis on the 88 yarder against the cardinals, but if you watch the whole play, you will see that Alexander juked the heck out of the defense before finding the crease and hitting it and outrunning all but Wilson, who as you pointed out, was a victim of SA’s perferct timing and use of the big screen.
    I would argue that his skills haven’t diminshed in this time but he was simply unfortunate with injuries, and when he had some semblance of health he still performed very well, even with Hutch gone. I don’t want to enrage all the people who hate Shaun Alexander and don’t have a memory that goes back more than a few days.

    I also think that Chris Johnson will be the best RB in football if he can stay healthy for a while.

  36. Moreno and Alexander went for about 4.6 and both have good football instincts. I may not have liked how Alexander tapdanced too much but we all can agree he was a very good runner in his prime. Moreno finishes his runs much better though (although there is no guarantee he’ll be as good as Shaun).

    One thing IMO that makes NO sense is when “experts” have RBs run the 40 yard dash like a sprinter. I don’t get it. Why not have every RB run the 40 yard dash with a football, just as they would during a game? I know it slows you down some — but it slows some down more than others (and it’d be nice to know how runs slower with a football).

    As long as we’re (or I) going off the deep end with 40 times, why not have each RB run with pads and a helmet on too?

  37. Good point in the first post, Forsett should get a good look. That may be why they let Mo go; perhaps Mora has a high opinion of Forsett.

    other then that, my opinion is anyone but Jones…………

  38. nighthawk2 says:

    Bobby that’s a point I’ve tried to make off and on before, about the difference between speed and football speed. A guy in shorts and track shoes running in a straight line is a lot different than a guy in pads dodging linebackers and safeties.

    A guy whom I didn’t see mentioned above who could be a possibility for a speed back also is Cedric Peerman from Virginia. He ran a 4.39 fourty at the combine. A little short at 5’9″ but is 216 pounds, benched 27 reps and had a 40″ vertical jump. Impressive measurables, but there’s some durability questions and he might be viewed as a 3rd down and change of pace guy, but he’s a good kick returner as well. Probably a 4th or 5th round guy.

  39. Surf Hawk says:

    Like the Brown video. Didn’t seem like one of those one cut RB’s you mentioned in your previous zone blocking post that Knapp will need. Seems like more of a guy who hops around looking for a hole. Also seemed to get caught very easily. However would still like to seem some nice chunks of yardage like that by a Seahawk.

  40. madpunter88 says:

    I’m a UVA graduate and watching the Donald Brown clip against us this past season was depressing. Donald Brown — and the entire UCONN team — was extraordinarily dominant in this game. It was a debacle for the Hoos.

    Is the banner on the website new? Something looks slightly different.

  41. nightwulf says:

    Reality check here, folks,
    I hate to be a wet blanket, but unless we fix our interior line issues (and one player ain’t gonna do it, even if his name starts with S. H.) it’s not going to matter who’s carrying the football, because they ain’t gonna run far. I know, RB’s are far sexier than linemen, but a good line can make a RB, whereas a good RB with a bad line is just in pain. (ok, maybe with the exception of Barry Sanders, but I don’t think he’s available in the draft this year.)

  42. RichmondHawk says:

    Still to this day, small school and Seahawks draft pick just don’t mix. No to Donald Brown, yes to LeSean McCoy or Ian Johnson.

  43. RichmondHawk says:

    Okay correction, I looked at Donald Brown’s stats and he had some big games against Pitt and Virginia so he might be in the mix.

  44. A healthy Wahle is fine for ’09 at LG. The depth (Wrotto?) behind Wahle concerns me but at least Wrotto got some much needed game time late last season. Can he be the future at LG (or RG)? I don’t know.

    Willis or Lock will be at RG. That is also fine.

    Basically, we go into ’09 with two good guards. They may not be Pro Bowl good, but for the first time since you-know-who left — we actually have 2 decent starters at that position.

    This means that Center is the interior OL position holding this team hostage. Can Spencer be healthy? I don’t know (Eric, could we get an update like you did with Burleson when he have a chance?). If he is healthy, can the dummied down system of line calls make him more effective in this zone blocking scheme? He seems to have the skills to be a good center (when healthy) but just seems too quiet/dumb to get the job done mentally. This scares me and I am sick of waiting year after year for him to be good only to see him suck on the field. Is Vallos better? I don’t know. It doesn’t take much to be better than Spencer, so that’s not very reassuring if that’s the only standard we are measuring him by.

    Basically, this rant is about how we need a Center. Both guards are fine for ’09, but the Center position certainly sucks IF Spencer is the same old Spencer and nothing is done to upgrade the position.

    We could talk about Tackle and how we need to get Walt’s replacement, but I’m just sticking to interior OL for this rant.

    This goes back to my original point of hoping/praying we can trade down to pick up an extra pick and take Moreno (sexy RB pick). Then we use the pick gained from moving down along with our 2nd rounder and move up to take Mack (not the sexy pick – but a pick that solidifies our OL so the sexy pick can make plays).

    However, if our team doctors have determined that Walt is on his last legs thanks to the microfracture surgery — then I say stand pat and take LT #1 and C #2. I don’t care if that’s overkill for OL with our first 2 picks… it is needed. On a bright note, there are supposedly different degrees of seriousness of mincrofracture surgery and Walt supposedly had one of the less significant of them (although I doubt they would publicly say that it was severe and that his career was done).

  45. How would CB Darius Butler do in our D?

  46. HawkFromDay1 says:

    Eric – i sorta think that the vast majority of CB’s can catch the vast majority of RB’s regardless of 40 time.

    I suspect that the real indicator for a team’s potential to break big runs is how well their WR’s and TE’s can block.

    The new TE from Detroit is a great start, and bringing back Joe J would definitely help.

  47. hawkcrazy says:

    BK…you make a great point about Center. Although we disagree on Moreno at 4 (I’d prefer Orakpo or Curry), I completely agree that Center is a problem for us and whereas you never take one as high as we’re selecting in the first, I’d be thrilled to get Mack at the top of the 2nd. I hope he’s still be on the board. I have Unger a little further down (end of 2nd/early 3rd).

    Interior line does need to be solidified, but I wouldn’t invest too high of picks on those lineman since zone blocking schemes have more athletic and interchangeable parts.

  48. hawkcrazy says:

    Donald Brown’s video was pretty impressive, but it’s still the wrong Brown.

    I’d like to see a video on Andre Brown, especially from the Senior Bowl. I think he’d be the perfect complement to our set of backs.

  49. Dukeshire says:

    Throughout his career, Wahle has been consistently healthy. In 11 seasons he’s played in all 16 games 8 times. He’s really only be injured last year and in ’06, (both were shoulder injuries). His false starts aside, he played pretty well, I’ll agree. But that does not change the fact both he and Walt are nearing the end of the road and now that ‘Chop is gone the depth is even thinner. If Monroe is there I don’t see how they can’t seize that opportunity. And if they go o line in the 1st, they won’t go o line in the 2nd. Simply won’t happen. My feeling in the 2nd is that if Chung is still there, like Monroe, I don’t see how they let him go. That said, if it ends up they take Stafford or Jenkins in the 1st, then I think that opens up the possibility to a center in the 2nd.

    All that said, I don’t see Ruskell addressing the running back situation in earnest until next year. They are sure to draft one in the later rounds this year, but as far as that “home run” guy, it doesn’t appear to be on the agenda for this season.

  50. With Walt and Wahle being old — I agree that it would be nice to get our future replacements soon. I just think Center is more pressing right now because we don’t have anyone to play it right now. We have bodies, but not talent that translates into production on the field.

    At least with Walt/Wahle — we have someone who can play those positions now. I can’t say that about Center.

    One thing that makes me skeptical about Ruskell taking a LT at #4 is that Walt and Wahle are both pretty good and I don’t see a Rookie coming in and being more productive for ’09 than either of them. Would we really pay Monroe over $10 million to back up both players on the left side? I don’t see him starting over Lock or Willis on the right side and that means the only position really open is Center and we all know a Monroe, Smith, or Oher won’t be playing Center anytime soon.

    While I will agree that a LT at #4 will be much better than Wahle for ’10-11-12-etc. at LG (obviously LT when Walt is done)… I just don’t see how we make ourselves better for ’09 by drafting a LT who won’t play.

    But if we do draft a Monroe… he will give us insurance that if someone on the left side goes down that we will be fine. Then I’m sure he’ll take Wahle’s job next year at LG and then the following year he’ll take over for Walt (as that’s the last year of Walt’s contract). That’s certainly not a bad thing with a unit as important as an offensive line — it’s just weird to think $10 million could go to someone who won’t project to start in ’09 (unless we took a QB).

  51. Dukeshire says:

    Injuries aside, I’m not down on Spencer nearly as much as you. But ultimately, the injury issue may be enough to address the position early in the draft.

  52. You haven’t heard about his back situation lately, have you? Last I heard was late in the season he couldn’t even reach down to touch his toes. And then at Ruskell’s press conference he said he “better” be healthy for training camp, but he didn’t seem certain he’d be 100% either. This scares me. It’s bad to have a Center miss all of training camp (again). If we could be guaranteed that Spencer will be 100% by training camp, then I wouldn’t be drinking the Mack kool-aid so hard.

    Eric — Any chance you can find out the status/health of Spencer for us? I want to know what to root for on draft day. If he’s going to be perfectly healthy, I don’t want to get mad if we pass on Mack in the 2nd round if he’s still available.

  53. Dukeshire says:

    I am aware of all that.

  54. Dukeshire says:

    If that is your criteria, how then can you feel confident about Hass? or Walt? We can be guaranteed about anyone’s health coming back from significant injuries.

  55. Dukeshire says:

    *can’t*

  56. Palerydr says:

    New user to these forums but a lifelong Hawk fan. All you guys have good points about RB and C but I see the team going for O-line(LT) or if he’s still on the board I just don’t see them passing on Stafford as Hasselbeck is just getting older and more injury prone. IMO I have seen enough of Wallace to see that he is a .500 quarterback in the league. Check his stats as a starter. A franchise QB with the intangable of leadership(IMO THE MOST must have intangable) is the most important position on the field. With there second pick I see them looking for a cornerback IMO I like Sean Smith out of Utah as he has the size(6-3) we need against arizona as well as enough speed(4.5). Watching our sub 6′ DB’s, while they have plenty of heart and competitve spirit they need more size to match up inside the 20. I just don’t know about Orakpo he’s quick and fast but not an everydown kind of end. Coverage is a function of pass rush as you all probably know better rush means less time in coverage= defense off the field on 3rd down more often. With more chances on Offense a run first team can wear down the other team which IMO will lead to more wins. Look over Moras career and you can see he will be running the ball to set up the pass so all you guys looking for another back look for the Det pick to go for that position whatever back they like as a change of pace or future feature back. As history has shown many backs can produce at the NFL level maybe not hall of fame numbers but good enough to win games in the league. 1 last scenario is they trade the early pick drop back and pick up the center in the middle of the first and get another 2nd/3rd/4th whatever they can wrangle out of somebody.

  57. If we are starting the talk about safety’s i have to bring David Bruton in the 3. round

  58. Walt and Hass haven’t been injury prone throughout their careers; although I admit both a back and microfracture knee surgery scare the hell out of me.

    For Spencer, if it’s not his back, it’s his shoulders or thumb or something.

    Besides, another reason — the FO have optimistic outlooks for Matt and Walt, which gives me a bit of confidence. We haven’t heard a definitive report that Spencer will be fine by training camp (like we have with Matt/Walt).

    Plus, they have been superstars. Spencer is a never was player.

    This is why I am so much more concerned with C than QB/LT at the moment.

  59. nighthawk2 says:

    “Reality check here, folks,
    I hate to be a wet blanket, but unless we fix our interior line issues (and one player ain’t gonna do it, even if his name starts with S. H.) it’s not going to matter who’s carrying the football, because they ain’t gonna run far. I know, RB’s are far sexier than linemen, but a good line can make a RB, whereas a good RB with a bad line is just in pain. (ok, maybe with the exception of Barry Sanders, but I don’t think he’s available in the draft this year.)”

    Nightwulf, I’m in complete agreement, but there seems to be a prevailing view that the zone blocking scheme is the aluminum bat of football. That is say, that the zone blocking will make mediocre linemen (like Seattle has) into average ones, average linemen into good ones and good linemen into great ones. I’m not sure I buy into that (it does help with linemen who lack the intelligence to pick up more complicated man blocking schemes though) but I still prefer to have better offensive linemen than we have now. Especially when it comes to protecting a quarterback’s blind side.

    I agree completely with Bobby about the problem at center, as I’ve been saying for awhile. Just not convinced that Alex Mack is the absolute guy we need; Max Unger, Antoine Caldwell, Eric Wood, Jonathon Luigs or A.Q. Shipley (“short” arms and all) would all be a significant upgrade over Spencer. I’d also wait for a later round to look at quarterback, I don’t see the team passing on Monroe (unless his knee bothers them) for a QB, but I’d bet they’d take a QB over Moreno at 4. I wouldn’t, but neither would they ask me about it. I’d rather take Oher at 4 than another position.

  60. Dukeshire says:

    ” I don’t see the team passing on Monroe (unless his knee bothers them) for a QB, but I’d bet they’d take a QB over Moreno at 4.”

    Exactly right.

  61. If we draft a lineman with the #4 pick, he is going to be in the starting lineup for the first game. It is unclear whether the new guy plays right tackle, or left guard, but they are not going to spend millions in a signing bonus and sit the guy. I would hope the rookie would be an upgrade for Lock or Wahle, but there is no doubt the rookie would start.

    I agree with the point about center, but apparently Ruskell does not agree. Sampson Satale was traded this week by the Dolphins. He would have been a huge upgrade over Spencer, but I guess we did not pursue him or didn’t know he was available.

  62. hawks4ever says:

    Man I want a trade down so bad. We could get any number of players at a much cheaper price. I would rather have oher than monroe, and sanchez over stafford. plus moreno would be available, and possibly crabtree depending on how far we trade down (prob oak at 7)

  63. One of our best hopes is for some team to fall in love with a guy like Sanchez or Stafford. Teams usually seem more likely to trade extra and/or future picks for the QB position. I hope it happens, but won’t hold my breath. I hope their stocks rise by draft day.

    Playing lesser players makes no sense. You all know I like Oher, but I don’t see him playing a better LG than Wahle or a better RT than Lock in ’09. Makes no sense to play someone over a better player just because they make more money. That’s just plain stupid.

  64. vichawkfan says:

    Palerydr – totally agree with you on Stafford. The more I learn about him the better he looks. I love the ebb and flow of pre-draft hype. First he’s a lock at #1, then Mayock et al start picking apart what he CAN’t do. Love it, fall to #4 – take the 21yr old wild horse stud and by 25 he’s a pro-bowl QB leading our team throwing 50yrd on a rope out patterns to our WR’s.

  65. I believe the only start sanchez gets in the pros is an injury start. I just don’t think that he is any good at all. If he didn’t go to USC he wouldn’t even be talked about.

  66. nightwulf says:

    Nighthawk,
    I’m praying you’re right regarding the “aluminium bat” (hopefully, that doesn’t mean that we’ll make a horrible “tink” out on the field), but if our line, as Bobby says is Walt – Whale – Spencer – Willis/Lock – Lock/Willis, who does that leave for depth? Vallos? If we can trade with Philly (yeah, my old fantasy…) our line would look like: Walt – Mack – Unger – Willis/Lock – Lock/Willis
    Lock – Wahle – Spencer – Vallos – Willis/Lock
    That just looks SO much better to me…and then the only age in the starting line is Walt. With a line liek that AND an “aluminium bat”, it really won’t matter who’s running the ball, they’ll have huge holes…So, from were I sit, this year, all those stud interior linemen out there are looking like Selma Hyack (sp?)…And if we DO get the Philly trade, we still can get a nice RB (or a better S, more important, in my opinion)

  67. Dukeshire says:

    If a zone blocking scheme in of and by itself was able to raise the level of the linemen involved, simply by implementing it, every team in the league would be using it. It doesn’t work that way, it is vulnerable. Beyond the fact the Seahawks do not have a mobile QB, something almost every team that has had any real success with it has, some lineman simply need to know who to block without asdjusting during the play. I stand by my belief that a serious talent upgrade as well as youth and depth are needed on this line. My guess is that a 1st and mid round picks will be spent there, but not the first two.

  68. hawks4ever says:

    bobbyk please take off your 2009 blinders…picking up a solid LT or QB would do this organization a whole lot of good for the future. What if Walt or Hass go down? Then next year we will be reaching in the draft or WAY overpaying in FA to fill those IMPORTANT positions. Its not the worst thing in the world to draft a stud and let them sit, especially at LT or QB. 2009 is not the last year for the NFL, so please start to think about the long term future of this franchise. Its not often we have a shot at a legit LT or QB…just because we dont get a playmaker or a flashy guy does not mean that we wasted the pick. I guarantee in two years whether we go LT or QB this year you will not think we wasted the pick (even though they might not play until then)

  69. nighthawk2 says:

    “If we draft a lineman with the #4 pick, he is going to be in the starting lineup for the first game. It is unclear whether the new guy plays right tackle, or left guard, but they are not going to spend millions in a signing bonus and sit the guy. I would hope the rookie would be an upgrade for Lock or Wahle, but there is no doubt the rookie would start.”

    I’m not convinced that is true, about a rookie starting. My desire for a LT there comes from Walter Jones being 35 and coming off a bizarre surgical procedure that rarely if ever allows a professional athlete to play at his former level. However if this turns out to be the exception to the rule (unlike the same procedure done on Marcus Tubbs) then yes, Walter would start. If they’re convinced enough that he’ll be able to resume his spot at left tackle without a serious degradation of his play, then we’d pass on LT at 4th overall and look at something else (god please don’t let that something else be Crabtree!!). But these are the same doctors, I presume, who couldn’t catch the back problems that Tyler Schmitt, last year’s 6th round LS pick, had that put him on IR and, from what was written last year, may prevent him from ever playing a down. So my confidence level is not high on any rosy prognosis for Walter’s knee.

    Dukeshire and Nightwulf, that’s been my contention about the zone scheme, while others think that it provides a means to get by with, well, lesser talented linemen, if that was the case every team would use it, as you said. Bobby’s point out Spencer’s injuries as a need for a new center, and combine that with his, in my view anyway, lack of ability to play at an NFL level, and also Sims who’s never shown he could be good even before the pectoral muscle tear, it just doesn’t seem to bode well regardless of the blocking scheme employed. With Womack gone, there’s just Willis and Locklear to choose from to play right guard unless somehow Wrotto has taken a quantum leap in his play. I didn’t see that last year. So Nightwulf’s question of depth looms large. These are reasons I have wanted us to draft offensive line early on when most seem to want offensive “skill” postions and secondary.

  70. D.McFadden was taken @ #4 last yr’s draft. His total salary was under $5M, and his cap hit was $2.65M. This year’s #4 shouldn’t cost much more.

    Back to the restaurant = football team analogy. TR buys fully-grown producing plants from shops in free agency for ingredients not available in the kitchen pantry but needed for the recipes on the menu. The draft is where TR buys hot-house plants so the restaurant can grow their own ingredients. High 1st round picks had better have ripe ingredients that are ready to pick as soon as the plant gets back to the restaurant. Lower down the draft the plants can have blossoms, or just healthy foliage and show characteristics of ability to produce good ingredients. Drafted plants means you don’t have to bribe the grocer so much for the best, most fresh ingredients – if they’re even available, but the ingredients taken from drafted plants usually aren’t going to be as good as ingredients from plants with more than one season’s growth.

    Walt and Wahle’s ingredients are still in the pantry, ready for another season. They’re starting to look a little broken down but there’s no certainty they need replacing. TR didn’t get OT players in FA. Spencer’s in the pantry, but he’s had frost damage, blight, and wind damage, and the ingredients he’s provided haven’t been up to his expected mid-1st round draft pick value. Vallos has provided edible ingredients but they’re not the best. TR didn’t get any C ingredients in FA. PC, who’s been plagued with injury is no longer in the pantry. Sims got an awful blight last season, but has gotten back into shape for the coming season and Wrotto hasn’t produced many ingredients yet, but is probably good for the restaurant’s OG needs. TR didn’t get any OG players in FA. Still, at the end of the season the pantry was completely bare of OL ingredients, except for some ingedients from the bottom of the barrel TR went out and bought from other restaurants in an emergency. The OL ingredients last season were old, dry, bruised, and damaged. Not only that, but the blight that spread across the OL ingredients spread to the QB ingredients and made the recipes inedible. The restaurant needs to stock it’s greenhouse with OL plants this draft. Drafted OT, OG & C plants are needed, but not neccessarily with high first round plants.

    Last season’s WR ingredients were also old, dry, bruised, and damaged. The pantry also went bare and the greenhouse plants didn’t have ingredients ready to pick. At the end of the season TR went out to other restaurants and got taken, again. The purchased ingredients either didn’t fit the recipes or were too old and damaged to make a very good dish. TR went out and bought an excellent FA plant in Housh, and the damaged plants have been repaired and should be ready to produce again in the upcoming season. Still, the WR plants are getting older, so an excellent young plant that can produce next season, at latest wouldn’t go amiss in this draft.

    Without the OL ingredients and the WR ingredients, the QB plants got damaged and their ingredients were ineffective. If TR is being honest, they are repaired, as much as they can be, and ready to produce this season. Hawks were down to the last ingredients in the pantry last season so they need a new QB plant ready to produce high quality ingredients for 2010, or 2009 if another blight sweeps through the restaurant’s greenhouse.

    The RB plants TR bought at the beginning of last season were not the kind that produce the ingredients wanted by the head chef. The head chef still had some ingredients in the pantry and modified his receipes enough to use the new ingredients to make due. Forsett, the 5-8/194 4.62-40 RB benched 225# 26 times, but is really not fast enough to make the kind of impact needed for a change of pace (fast) RB. Forsett is a small-enough-to-hide-behind-the-OL powerback. He may do better with zone-blocking. Still a fast RB, like Eric said, would be a good type of plant to get, if one was available in this draft.

  71. If we’re totally focused on the future we should trade our 5th pick in the 2nd round to some team in the mid-teens for an additional 2nd round pick in ’11.

    Then take that mid-teens pick in the 2nd round and trade it to some team in the later 2nd round and pick up a 2nd round pick in ’11.

    Then we should take that late 2nd round pick and trade it for a 2nd rounder in ’12 and another in ’13.

    As long as we’re at it, we may as well that 3rd rounder and trade it for a 2nd rounder in ’12 and a 4th rounder in ’15.

    I bet some teams would be able to make deals like these. If we don’t care about ’09, that is fine. I will agree that future years/picks are more important than looking out for 1 year. As long as we are looking towards the future, we may as well go for the gusto (fine by me).

  72. klm008 That comment confused me :D

  73. itscarlstime247 says:

    Have anyone of you guys ever BOTHERED watching Knowshon Moreno? It doesn’t really matter what his speed is. He is ridiculously quick and has a change of direction where he makes defenders miss a lot to the point that it’s comical. And I mean A LOT. Just watch his highlight reels. How can you be tackled if you make them miss? Shaun Alexander ran slower 40-yard times than Moreno did, and he worked out just fine. Shaun didn’t need to be fast, he was elusive enough as it was, knowing just how to slither out of a tackle as well as using a “slippery” stiff arm to get some extra yards.

    Speed is the most overrated measurable in the draft. Knowshon has tremendous vision, and is amazingly athletic enough to make up for his so-called lack of speed. One thing that everyone is forgetting is that there’s 40-yard speed, and then there’s football speed. Which is more relevant?

    The Seahawks don’t need a home-run hitter or a speed guy, they need a guy who’s going to get them the first down, and someone who will find the end zone. Knowshon Moreno is quite adept at doing both.

    I’m not saying that the Seahawks should pick him up, but I sure as heck wouldn’t be disappointed if they did. He’s a top 5 talent easily, and he’s one of those guys where you’d be glad he’s on your team.

  74. I like the way you think.

  75. hawks4ever says:

    wow bobby when did i say to forget about 2009? all i said is that we shouldnt be focused on ONLY 2009. it would be a wise move to secure a QB or LT with the #4 for the future of this franchise

  76. Palerydr says:

    You all bring valid points to the table (kim leave the plant analogies in the greenhouse please) But remember you aren’t drafting! Tim Ruskell IS! His draft philosophy is 4yr starters although mebane and tapp were 2 yr guys. High quality/character guys and generally to not reach but take the highest rated guy on the board whether it’s pick #4 or pick #224. Spencer was a 1 year wonder but the highest rated player they had at that pick with Tobeck about to retire it seemed ok at the time. There are plenty of first round busts and at this time he appears to be 1. I would look for the Hawks to trade down and get extra picks in the first 4 rounds.

  77. nightwulf says:

    Carl,
    Granted, the guy can flat out move, but if you don’t have a line opening holes for you, the only place you go is down…if we rate linemen on a scale from 1-10,
    the line SA was running behind was this: LT 10 LG 10 C 8 RG 6 RT 8
    the line we’ve got right now is this: LT 8.5 LG 6 C 2 RG 1 RT 8
    unless you get rid of Sims, then but Willis in there, then RG becomes 6…
    It’s really very simple, no line, no offense…and as I mentioned earlier, we’ve got next to no depth…so let’s skip the big play guys, and beef up our OL, that’ll keep us doing well on offense for the next few years. (later in the draft, we can pick up some project players, say a QB, WR and RB) I hear people saying that Wahle is adequate…I agree, the problem is, that he is by far and away our best interior lineman. Adequate is fine for the best BACK UP, or the worst starter, but if you start with adequate and go downhill from there in the middle of your line, that’s a fantastic way to gaurentee that we get a really high draft pick next year.
    On the other hand, we can do what most folks want, and get the sexy players this year, then next year, we may have even better picks, and we can address the line then…but that would make for a really long year…

  78. nighthawk2 says:

    Yes, I’ve seen Moreno play. Which is why I’d be glad to have him at 4th, as much as I prefer an OT there.

  79. hawks4ever – I didn’t mean it bad.

  80. I’m all for Ian Johnson and we could get him in the 3rd or 4th round. He’s a great one cut runner (goes from zero to 60 in nothing flat), great blocker, great hands, and great attitude. This guy is the real deal. I’ve been around him quite a bit at Boise State since I live here and he’s going to make some team very happy….I just hope it’s the Seahawks! I tried to get through all the red tape to let the FO know about Chris Carr because I knew he was going to be the best kick returner in the league but nobody would listen. All you had to do was watch the damn film on that guy! He’d take kickoffs 8 yards deep in the endzone and be out to the 25 yard line before the opponents players! I’d be screaming at the TV saying what are you doing? Then he’d end up at the 35! Took me 3 games to calm down and start saying here he goes, look out! Ian’s the same. Watch the tape and you will see a back with speed and heart that would fit very well with our team. Come on Timmy…do your homework.

  81. itscarlstime247 says:

    Nightwulf, I agree. Particularly about the O-line. If there are no holes, it wouldn’t matter if you had a speed back, either. But when it comes to RB’s, the answer isn’t a speed back.

    In fact, I have OT at the top of my wish list #4. I’d also like to get Unger at #37, simply because I don’t see Alex Mack making it past Pittsburgh, that is, IF he even makes it past Minnesota. Duke Robinson will also be gone by then, too, so I have Unger really high on my wish list for #37. I will admit though, I ultimately want Patrick Chung the most at #37.

  82. Leaving all the plants in the greenhouse might be one of the reasons why so many players got injured last year. That new field turf – both at Qwest and in Renton. The odds of that many players getting hurt in one season were never that high in Seattle before. Coincidence? Not so sure.

  83. nightwulf says:

    If it happens again this year (knock on wood) we’ll know there’s something up…

  84. Palerydr says:

    They have been using field turf since they opened quest field statistically it is the safest surface to play on. Injuries are part of football

  85. CamanoIslandJQ says:

    QB, OL, C, and/or S are all needs that may be addressed in the first few rounds. At the Hawks round 4(105 overall) or 5 (137 overall) – if this guy is available at RB he should be worthy of considerable consideration:
    Kory Sheets, RB, Purdue 6-0, 206-lbs, 4.47-40.
    Kory Sheets has quietly put together an impressive career at Purdue. Sheets recently became Purdue’s all time leader in both total touchdowns and rushing touchdowns. This is all the more impressive considering Coach Joe Tiller’s pass happy scheme. He has consistently produced for the Boilermakers, scoring double digit touchdowns in each of his four seasons. He has the size to be an effective back at the professional level and has solid, if somewhat unspectacular, speed. For his career, the fifth year senior has tallied 3341 rushing yards (a 5.0 yards per carry average) and 48 rushing touchdowns. These numbers alone would make him a solid prospect, but Sheets has also caught 108 passes for 814 yards, good for 7.5 yards per catch. He has also scored on 5 receptions and even returned a punt for a touchdown as a freshman. Sheets has an advantage over a lot of other college running backs. Purdue’s offensive scheme has made him one of the better pass blocking tailbacks available this year. In addition to his offensive prowess, Sheets has also been an effective kickoff returner during his career. Whether or not Sheets can be an every down back in the NFL is still a bit of a question mark, but he has the skills to be a valuable contributor. His combination of size, speed, hands, and pass blocking skills make him a candidate for the third down role for an NFL franchise. Sheets is likely a fifth or early sixth round pick, but it only takes one team to become enamored and pull the trigger a little earlier.
    Kory Sheets played in January’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Sheets was all over the field during the weekend’s game. He rushed the ball 7 times for 31 yards, had 4 catches for 5 yards, ran a kickoff back 61 yards, and even made a tackle while playing special teams. He did a lot to help his stock, not only by effectively running between the tackles, but also by displaying his versatility for the scouts on hand.

    Kory Sheets is having a tremendous off season. He was fantastic at the NFL Combine, where he ran a blazing 4.47 second 40 yard dash. He also had a 37 inch vertical leap and a 10 foot 1 inch broad jump. Sheets is likely a fourth round pick who brings speed, solid hands, and value in the return game to his team.

  86. CamanoIslandJQ says:

    Another later round “sleeper” that has some potential to be a home run hitter and may be available at round 5 (137 overall) or possibly (but less likely) even for round 6 (178 overall) is:
    Deon Butler, WR, Penn State
    Deon Butler is part of possibly the best trio of wide receivers in the country, along with teammates Derrick Williams and Jordan Norwood. Butler may not be the most exciting of the three, but he is definitely the most reliable of the Penn State receivers. Butler, now in his fourth year as a starter, was originally a walk on defensive back for the Nittany Lions. After red shirting and playing corner back for the practice squad, he was asked to move to wide receiver for the 2005 season. He responded by leading Penn State in catches and receiving touchdowns for the season, and helping bring Penn State back to national relevance. Butler has not only gone from former walk-on to starter, but also passed Bobby Engram for the top spot on Penn State’s all time catch list with 179. He has averaged 15.4 yards per catch for his career. Butler has also accounted for 22 receiving touchdowns, including 9 during his breakout freshman campaign. Like Williams, Butler’s numbers were hampered the last two seasons by Penn State’s erratic quarterback play. Butler has incredibly dependable hands, and rarely does a catch-able ball get past him. He is also a very crafty route runner. He has good speed, but also makes quick cuts to shake corners in the open field. The only thing that will really hurt him in the NFL is his size. Because he’s only 5’10” and 168 pounds, teams may pass on him early in the draft. If all draft selections were based only on ability rather than potential, Butler would go in the third or fourth round. He will likely however, end up a steal for somebody in the late fifth or sixth round.
    Deon Butler played in the East-West Shrine Game in January. He had a great week of practice, and impressed coaches with his excellent route running. Butler showed off a good burst coming out of his routes and ability to elevate over corner to get the ball at its highest point. He capped off his week by catching 3 passes for 69 yards during the actual game.

    Deon Butler continued his impressive off season by blowing scouts away at the NFL Combine. He ran a 4.38 second 40 yard dash and notched a 37 inch vertical leap, showing off the athleticism many scouts thought he lacked. Butler was a late round prospect because of his solid route running, but may have worked his way into the fourth round mix.

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