Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Kuechly the tackling machine

Post by Eric Williams on April 13, 2012 at 7:08 am with 57 Comments »
April 13, 2012 7:08 am
Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

ESPN’s Jeffri Chadiha writes an in-depth profile on Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly (pronounced “Keek-ly”), who many draft analysts have Seattle selecting in the first round.

Draft analysts have touted Kuechly’s production at Boston College and overall athleticism as reasons he should be a top-15 pick.

“This guy is as good a playmaker as I’ve seen,” one AFC personnel director said. “He has a nose for the football, great instincts, and he’s very productive. You can’t block the guy because he recognizes plays so quickly and he’s very quick to the ball. He’ll get you 15 hits a game just because he’s so good at beating people to the block points. He’s like having a free runner on defense.”

John Czarnecki of Fox Sports lists Seattle’s pickup of Matt Flynn in free agency as one of the top 10 moves in the NFL during the offseason. Czarnecki: “The Rams bragged before last season that they had the best quarterback in the NFC West in Sam Bradford. Yes, Bradford still has that potential, but the Seahawks closed the gap with the signing of Aaron Rodgers’ caddie in Green Bay. Matt Flynn was the MVP of LSU’s BCS Championship Game win over Ohio State and set single-game passing records in a Week 17 start against the Lions. Packers coach Mike McCarthy says that Flynn is ready to be a starter and that’s good enough for me!”

Dane Brugler of CBS Sports has USC DE Nick Perry as one of his risers in this year’s draft.

Jason Smith of NFL.com gives the Seahawks linebacker Clay Matthews in his redo of the 2009 draft. Seattle of course drafted Aaron Curry No. 4 overall that year.

Mike Mayock of the NFL Network believes that North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples has high bust potential.

Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated lists defensive end, outside linebacker and cornerback as Seattle’s top needs heading into the draft.

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Leave a comment Comments → 57
  1. Coples seems a little slow to me and if Mayock doesn’t like him, that ain’t good. Watched Ingram a little this morning, but he seems a little small. I know we need a fast twitch guy that can put some pressure on the QB, but all of a sudden, I’ve found myself really liking Floyd from ND. I’d be find with Kuechly, seems like a really solid player, but IF S. Rice can stay healthy Baldwin to be more of the same and adding a guy like Floyd with Beast running the ball would wreak havoc on Defenses. Like I said, Kuechly would be fine, but for some reason I’m starting to like the idea of Floyd personally. Ultimately, whatever JS and PC decide is good by me. They know a heckuva a lot more than us hacks here.

    GO HAWKS!

  2. Dukeshire says:

    Eric – Calling Kuechly a “tackling machine”, eh? I’ll wait by the mail box for my royalty check… ;)

  3. Palerydr says:

    You better hope Eric doesn’t put that check on his desk Dukeshire as it will take a couple of months to get to it. :)

    As for drafting “The Tackling Machine I’m all for it you can’t think that this guy will be like the last guy you drafted at LB they are 2 different people IMO it’s kinda silly to do so.

    I also would support the drafting of an edge pass rusher…. wait for it, …..Yup there it was Bobby giving a fist pump YES! We do need to address that position in this draft although I’m concerned about all the possible players available.

    Lastly I wouldn’t be unhappy with drafting Decastro or Reiff if he were available as I see a dominant NFL line as just as good at helping the pass rush by controlling the clock, scoring points and putting the opposing team in a pass first/catch up position.

    WR not so much I believe in the guys we have right now although I have reservations about them.

  4. RDPoulsbo says:

    Reiff is on my red flag bust list. I want no part of that guy. I’m hoping he falls to 13 so the Cards can continue their bust streak at LT. He should be a RT, but someone’s going to draft a below average pass protector for their QB’s blind side. Again, a guy people are falling in love with because of the combine. He may be able to outrun the cops for half an hour, but he’s no pass protector.

  5. Fist pump for the pass rusher! lol

    Kuechly would fit right in on this defense. He’d be a good/great player with no pass rush skills. Sounds about like a majority of our defensive players (Big Red, Mebane, ET, Sherman, Chancellor, Wright..). I’m not complaining about any of those studs, nor will I complain about Kuechly if we draft him b/c I think he’ll be good, but at what point to do we improve the rush instead of drafting more good/great defensive players who can’t do that most important thing that any great defense needs?

  6. Dukeshire says:

    “He may be able to outrun the cops for half an hour, but he’s no pass protector.” LOL! Great line.

  7. Palerydr: You are correct in that I can be slow getting back to people at time because I’m rarely in the office. I’m still having trouble figuring out how good of a fit Kuechly is. I think Dont’a Hightower might make more sense in a trade-down scenario.

    Dukeshire: It’s not the first and it won’t be the last :-) .

  8. I’m good if we draft Kuechly. Other MLB options are Hightower, Waggner or Kendricks. They are all solid MLB options in round 2 (altho Hightower is almost certainly gone before we pick in the 2nd).

    I agree with Mayock about Coples – stay away at 12. I expect he will fall into the second half of the first round…. maybe Cincinnati (17).

  9. I dont’a know bout’a you guys, but I want’a Dont’a.

    Trade down, JS, and bring’a Dont’a to town’a.

    I prefer him over Kuechly, but I also prefer that the Seahawks draft a pass-rusher.

  10. “I’m not complaining about any of those studs, nor will I complain about Kuechly if we draft him b/c I think he’ll be good, but at what point to do we improve the rush instead of drafting more good/great defensive players who can’t do that most important thing that any great defense needs?”

    I’m with you on this. No defense can be truly effective in a pass-first league without the ability to rush the passer.

    We’ve literally got one guy, one, who can do it now — biggest need on the team right now.

  11. I see Kuechly as an OLB at the next level. He tackles well in space and has the speed and coverage abilities. We do not know if he can rush the passer from there as he was not asked to do that at BC. One thing is clear,,,he gets easily swallowed by bigger OL’s at the NCAA level and does not generate tackles for loss much, so I would stay away from him in the middle in the NFL.

    Those points make him a second day prospect, imo. I rarely disagree with Mayock but this time I do.

  12. Sarcasticus says:

    I am all for DeCastro or Kuechly. I would prefer Kuechly. It is obvious that the team needs to address the pash rush, but I think they can still grab a guy like Chandler Jones in the 2nd round.

    Last year, the ‘Hawks gave up an average of 112 yards per game on the ground. The last 5 games they gave up an average of 137 yards per game. The Seahawks gave up 3.8 yards per rush for the year, but the last five games gave up 5.3, 3.7, 4.3, 4.5, 4.2. Now, I picked the last 5 games because it just seemed like that is when I noticed the run defense starting to sag. If this team’s secondary is going to be something special (and I think it can be) then teams are going to want to run more.

    Is that what happened in the final 5 games? Did teams decide to avoid the air and pound the rock? For the year, Seattle opponents averaged 30 attempts per game. Over the last 5 games teams attempted 25, 31, 33, 40, and 34. Three of those games were blowout wins by the Hawks and the last two were decided by a total of 5 points; so it isn’t like the other teams were trying to just run the clock out.

    Drafting an amzing pash rusher in the 1st round is sexy, but I don’t see one of those in the draft. Drafting a middle linebacker is not sexy, unless you are one of those that believes you have to run the ball and defend the run first.

    While everyone is screaming out for pash rush, I would like to make sure the run defense is sound first. I would like to see Kuechly as that pick (if he makes it that far).

    Also check out the ESPN Sport Science video on Keuchly. http://search.espn.go.com/kuechly-science/

  13. Palerydr says:

    Hopefully you were smiling when you read the post just givin you a friendly poke big E.

    I agree that IF we can trade down I would be happy with Hightower and a second/third round pick to go after situational pass rushers

  14. If we don’t get a pass rusher in round 1, one that i like in round 2 is Vinny Curry….. he can’t give you anything at OLB, but he would do a nice job filling the Raheem Brock role.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1695468/vinny-curry

  15. HawkfaninMT says:

    Drafting a pass rusher in the 2nd round and 3rd round will solve our pass rushing issue IMO.

    To get Nick Perry in the 2nd, and Bruce Irvin in the 3rd and our pass rush issues are solved. That leaves us with our first to draft BPA. Whomever that may be in PC/JS’s esteem.

  16. Macabrevity says:

    I’d prefer Kuechly over Hightower and a trade down – pretty much based on pass coverage ability, whether it’s zone or not. Hightower seems to me like the kind of guy that will just keep getting bigger in his career, stuffing things inside, but not the range of a Kuechly. With our beef up front, a more mobile MLB seems a better fit. That said, I guess it depends on what we get in the trade down.

  17. Dukeshire says:

    woofu – His ability to shed blocks, tackles and guards both, is the first thing that stood out to me when I watched his videos. He’s so good at it. He rarely allows blockers to get in on him. That is huge for a Mike ‘backer.

  18. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/04/13/osi-doesnt-like-being-a-backup-to-tuck-and-pierre-paul/

    I wonder what the Giants would want for Osi Umenyiora? Would you trade down in the first round to get him?

  19. Palerydr says:

    Osi is all about Osi he’s looking to get paid as this will almost certainly be his last contract. With that in mind I say stay away cuz once he gets paid what’s his incentive to keep playing at a high level?

  20. HawkfaninMT says:

    Swap 1st for him? You would have to try and project who would still be avaiable at the 32nd pick. I would much rather swap 2nds than 1sts.

  21. Dukeshire says:

    Canfan – Short answer: no.

  22. RDPoulsbo says:

    Why does it feel like Osi does this every year? Probably because he does it every year. No thanks.

  23. chuck_easton says:

    Slightly longer short answer “oh H@@L NO”

    All he does is complain about how he is underpaid and under appreciated. As he’s getting older the injuries are starting to pile up. Hasn’t played a whole season in several years.

  24. Please pass on Kuechly. Please. LB is the easiest position to fill and one riddled with guys going down to injury. How often is Urlacher healthy? Kuechly may look great, say all the right things, have all the “intangibles” in the world but do LBs win ballgames? Not really. They can find a LB in the later rounds.

    To win in the NFL you must score points. Bottom line. The run-the-ball/play-great-D model will only get you so far. Touchdowns win ballgames.

    Hawks need a playmaker, be it Floyd on offense or a defensive player that alters the course of the game by getting to the QB. If Coples has questions, pass all day long.

    That said, Seattle seems like being safe in the first round (although it remains to be seen how “safe” Carpenter was). I think it’s De Castro or Floyd if they don’t get any offers to trade back and get another 3rd rounder.

    Personally, Cable has proven he can work with anything on the line and succeed. With Okung, Moffit, and Carpenter out the O-line was more effective.

    That leaves Floyd. Rice cannot be counted on. BMW is a complete wildcard. The rest of the WRs have limitations. You must help out Flynn. Get a beast like Floyd to round out the group, and go defense with the rest of the picks.

  25. Would #12 be to high for that kid B state?

  26. tchristensen says:

    I’m hoping they grab Robert Turbin in the latter rounds!

  27. It’s Friday the 13th — and 13 days until the draft! I can’t wait.

    Some of you are old enough to remember the pre-internet days. The NFL draft would take place over the weekend and I’d have to buy the newspaper the next day to read how the “experts” (aside from the guys on ESPN) graded the Seahawks’ picks. Nowadays everything is instant — expert analysis and fan reaction. I end up “wasting” 10 times more time. It’s amazing how much things have changed. Of course, some of you young guys were born with a Facebook account!

  28. Anyone remember buying the Seahawk Report back in the day? I couldn’t wait to get my copy hot off the presses.

  29. I believe that we can solve the pass rush with Nick Perry in Round 2 as well.

    However, there’s no way in heck that Perry will be there for us to draft when we pick in that round. It could happen, but if I were a betting man, I’d put a lot of money on that he’d be gone (and if I made a lot of bets with those type of odds, I’d be rich, even if I lost one here or there).

    While we’re at it, lets get Mercilus in Round 3, too. That will really help our pass rush. I also think we should draft DeCastro in Round 4 and if Luck is available with our 6th rounder, we should check him out as a developmental type of guy. We can also see if the 49ers will trade us Willis for our 7th rounder, although I fear trading picks for players.

  30. Dukeshire says:

    neklok – Urlacher missed all but one game in ’09, 7 games in ’04, and 2 games his rookie season, ’00. Aside from that, 9 full seasons. Nearly a decade of of playing week in and week out.

    tchristensen – He’s my round 3 wish.

    Audible – I do. Loved them. Bobby remembers as well. he too brings The Report up from time to time.

  31. GeorgiaHawk says:

    “Please pass on Kuechly. Please. LB is the easiest position to fill and one riddled with guys going down to injury.”

    neklock- Sounds like you are describing our O-Line.

    Five reasons to draft Decastro.

    1.- He’s a beast! Best guard prospect since Hutch, and can play all three interior line positions.

    2.- He’s smart,( kind of like a cross between Chris Gray smart and Hutch strong), and he is one of the best pulling guards to come out in a long time.

    3.- Stability! We need stability on the O-Line. Our 4 young promising O-Lineman have already had five season ending injuries. Chances are, ( unfortunately), there will be more down the road with this group.

    4.- Not a strong pass rushing draft this year. Yes we need to upgrade the pass rush, however even the best two or three in the draft may be gone before we pick at 12.
    Unless we move down we will likely be reaching for one.

    5.- BobbyK can only have one major request filled a year, and this year it was Flynn.

  32. GeorgiaHawk says:

    neklok- Sorry.

  33. That last part came off from me a little harsh. I meant for it to be more of a joke. I love Perry in round 2, I just don’t think he’ll be there. Crossing your fingers for a pass rusher to fall further than he should isn’t a good plan if you ignore it in round one. Unless they are sold on Dexter Davis.

  34. “Anyone remember buying the Seahawk Report back in the day? I couldn’t wait to get my copy hot off the presses.”

    Was that a weekly? I subscribed to one Seahawks publication for at least a year. I remember only one cover image — a picture of Norm Johnson with the headline: “Norm!” He had just kicked one of his many game-winning FGs.

    I’m sure a lot of those team magazines went out of print when the Internet came around. There’s just too much free stuff online.

  35. Strategicdust says:

    Canfan, I remember not getting any draft information in the newspaper until the day before the draft (granted I was living in the Midwest with no hometown team). Then you had to wait until the next days paper to find out who went where. So much more fun this way.
    With the signing of Hill and McCoy yesterday, I’m now leaning more towards Decastro as the pick rather than Kuechly. It’s hard to say how long these injuries on the front line will take to heal and you have a large hole in the lineup now. The pass rush will have to be addressed, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen via a trade than the draft.

  36. The Seahawk Report was my only way to get any kind of local seahawk news delivered to my mailbox in central Pa. I loved that old newspaper!

  37. SandpointHawk says:

    OK, I’m dating myself but what the heck. In 1975 I was going to UCLA and had gotten a part time job as a stringer for the UPI. On draft day that year I went to the LA office and got the draft picks off the sports ticker tape machine. #1. Steve Bartkowski, #2 Randy White, #3 Ken Huff, #4 Walter Payton and so on,that was my first hint of things to come. My roommate thought I was nuts but I was in heaven…

  38. “On draft day that year I went to the LA office and got the draft picks off the sports ticker tape machine.”

    Wow, that must have been something. I bet some fans do more “film study” of draft picks these days than NFL teams did a few decades ago.

    On another topic, gotta love BMW:
    https://twitter.com/#!/BigMikeWill17/status/190879023054848001/photo/1

  39. Yeah, I don’t think Perry works for us. 12 is too early and 43 will be way late.

    Besides, in any comparison, I would take mercilus over Perry. Don’t believe me tho – read it for yourself.

    http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-bears-huddle/2012/04/tale-of-the-tape-nick-perry-and-whitney-mercilus/

    http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Prospect-Focus-Whitney-Mercilus-and-Nick-Perry.html

    http://tedhendricks.com/11WINNERPR.htm

  40. The internet is the biggest time waster ever invented. Oh it “saves” time too for the disciplined few out there who just go for what they need. Don’t count me in that group.

    Georgia don’t forget #6 on DeCastro.

    6.-He’d be coming home!

    And regarding your #5, Bobby has demonstrated an inner conflict toward DeCastro. His heart says YES but his mind says “pass rush”. He’s hoping that that terrible choice is not an option when Seattle is on the clock.

    MT, how about a quick revision:

    “To get Nick Perry in the 1st, and Bruce Irvin in the 2nd and our pass rush issues are solved. That leaves us with our third to draft BPA. Whomever that may be in PC/JS’s esteem.”

    If our pass rush issues truly get solved and this is the scenario that it takes I’ll be happy as pigs in sheet.

  41. Dukeshire says:

    SandpointHawk – That is so cool!

  42. Yeah. That whole DeCastro factor sucks for me b/c I want a pass rusher, but I’d be hard pressed to pass on someone as good as I think he’s going to be. He just needs to be gone when we draft!

  43. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    and if he isnt bobby? that has been my point all along if he is there you take him

  44. The purpose of your pick is to get someone good. If I were GM in a couple of weeks and DeCastro were available, I would take him (b/c I think he’s one of the top players on a short list in this draft and definitely BPA if available at #12). But I don’t want to. I want to end up with Mercilus or Perry b/c they are what I want most (pass rushers).

    The only way I’m going to flip off the deep end is if we pass on DeCastro to take another non-pass rusher.

  45. Mayock’s got Kuechly as his #6 guy…not that he is mocking him to go at #6, but his not 6 draft prospect overall. Mayock’s about the only one of tha national “experts” that carries any weight in my opinion. He does his homework and it shows. I think Kuechly will be very much like Lofa, except bigger and able to stay healthy (in college anyway). Lofa was a decent blitzing Mike, but he shined in pass coverage. I think Kuechly will be very similar.

  46. OregonHawk says:

    My wish is for a trade down to pick up more picks. I really hope there is a trade partner :)

  47. I like Mayock too, but…

    http://www.nfl.com/draft/story?id=09000d5d80ef02b9&template=without-video-with-comments&confirm=true

    Seriously, as Schneider helped do in Green Bay with AJ Hawk, I don’t see the value of a non-pass rushing LB in the NFL today with a high pick. Pat Willis is a freak of nature, but, on average, I don’t buy into the idea of a LB in the 1st round if he can’t rush the passer! That’s just me.

  48. DisplacedSeahawkFan says:

    Is Kuechly a bit undersized? I read that somewhere. I know he’s listed at 6’3″, which is good. But his weight is listed at 242. Tatupu was heavier and 3 inches shorter. What I’m getting at is I wonder if Kuechly will have durability issues. I mean, he’ll probably be fine for a season, or two. But after that I wonder how his body will hold up. This issue is really the only thing from me having a full blown man crush (no homo) on him.

    As unsexy as another first round O-Lineman pick is, you’ve gotta love (again, no homo) DeCastro. I read that he only gave up 1 sack in his college career, and that was his freshman campaign. I’ve also read that he simply doesn’t get beat, and that he’s a beast both in run blocking and in pass pro. Decastro next to Okung could be Jones and Hutchinson 2.0. Their pairing is too intriguing. We’d possibly have one of the best O-lines in the league.

    Damn, I can’t wait until the draft!

  49. In a nutshell, this is what he said about Curry…

    NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock has had Curry listed as his top overall prospect for some time.

    “He’s too strong for tight ends, he’s too quick for tackles,” Mayock said. “He’s the ultimate package.”
    ———————-
    “Curry is what I call scheme diverse,” Mayock said. “He can play anywhere, anytime. Just put the tape on, and he’s a football player.”

  50. Funny thing tape is Duke,

    It all depends on which cut you watch. I saw Kuechly get caught up by Guards at the LOS at the NCAA level so much that I felt his skills would be better outside in the same way Kam needs to do his thing from the back of the D. Space is their friend. So as a MLB I think there are better choices in the first round and Hightower would be one.

    If you can keep the trash off of him in a 43 it might work but his lack of tackles for loss is telling from the middle. Just MHO.

  51. RDPoulsbo says:

    I was actually suprised Seattle took Curry. I could have seen KC do it at #3 while building their 3-4, but never a 4-3 Sam like Seattle. Not a Curry mistake, but a big Ruskill one. Sam and Mikes just don’t rush the passer all that much in 4-3 defenses. They are more assigned to read and react to the play. But especially for a Sam, he’s just a spectator on the money down. Just plain stupid to pick one that high and there’s no way possible you can justify drafting one that high.

    Kuechly is #4 in my list of wants after Coples, Mercilus, and Floyd. If Seattle picks him, just don’t expect him to blitz much. That position just doesn’t do it, but at least they’d have a guy to call the shots and a sound tackler take up the position that’s supposed to lead the team in tackles.

    I like DeCastro as well and he’d be #5, but I just don’t see that happening. I’m expecting Carp to move to LG and Breno stays at RT. They already have plenty of talent on the line, they just have to give them time to develop as a unit. It’s not going to happen any faster if you keep throwing change at it.

  52. raymaines says:

    Part of the “Art” of the draft is knowing when not to get the best player. I’m thinking of Kuechly in the first round. I’d pass on him and get somebody that’s 98% as good three rounds later.

    And defensive linemen are so hit-or-miss I think I’d go straight for DeCastro if he’s there to be had in the first round.

    Remember the 2010 draft when Jacksonville at #10 took Tyson Alvalu (DT), #13 Phil. took Brandon Graham (DE), [@#14Seattle took Earl Thomas] then the #15 NYG got Jason Pierre-Paul (DE) and #16 Tenn. took Derrick Thomas (DE).

    Pierre-Paul is a monster but isn’t an every down player, and nobody has ever heard of the other guys since the draft. Total hit-or-miss. I’m happy with Earl Thomas and I think two years from now I’d be happier with David DeCastro than, say, Coples or Kuechly.

  53. raymaines says:

    You know how every now and then you’re in a crowded room and there will be somebody in that room that just seems smarter that everyone else? Somebody that eloquently expresses every vague thought you’ve ever had? Somebody that that just seems to have a grasp on the issues you and your friends wreste with? Somebody that has answers while you only have questions?

    Enter Davis Hsu, stage left:

    http://www.fieldgulls.com/2012/4/13/2943848/nfl-patriots-seahawks-steelers-pete-carroll-john-schneider#storyjump

  54. FleaFlicker says:

    Not related to Kuechly, but great article from Sando. Bottom line: don’t count on the 49ers to be at the top of the division next year….

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/62921/accepting-the-4949centennial-challenge

    Go Hawks!!

  55. ryanryan says:

    the more film i watch of fletcher cox the more i want him. same with kuechly.

    i feel the opposite for lavonte david

    it’ll be interesting for sure…at least we have a pick high enough to get someone that figures to make an immediate impact, whether it be on the field or on the careers of js/pc.

  56. Regarding the first round selection, pass rushers and LBs, and Mike Mayock and his analysis of Aaron Curry and how it can be compared to his analysis of Kuechly, I agree 100% with you BobbyK.

    That said, IF JS/PC draft Kuechly I’ll have to assume they see something on tape they really like. But I too will be disappointed if they pass on DeCastro and at least initially, that they passed on a pass rusher.

    Re: Osi, he missed games last year and 4 years ago, but for the last 5 or 6 seasons when he starts he is a double digit sack guy. He whines because the Giants screwed him on several occasions, and I think he’s justified. I’d definitely give him a 3 or 4 year deal in Seattle with one starter season guaranteed, but not a very high pick for the right to do so.

  57. HeinieHunter says:

    If DeCastro is available I think we pick him, if Cable wants him. He looks like a year after year all pro kind of guy. Address the pass rush issue in the second round. I’m not big on first round LBs in general and Curry was a huge mistake.

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