Saturday 2018 Combine notes + Seahawks trade rumors

Will Seattle trade Earl Thomas and/or Michael Bennett? With the QB’s, WR’s and TE’s also taking the field today, there are plenty of 2018 Combine notes to sift through.

(I’m more hyped for Shaquem Griffin’s Combine workout than I’ve ever been for a non-first round prospect. Tune in on NFL Network tomorrow to see it live!)

Rather than posting live updates of the test results again today, check out the link to Mike Loyko’s Combine spreadsheet below. It’s a great resource which is updated live as the numbers pour in >>>

2018 NFL Combine Data and Results

In case you missed it – here are the links to HawkTalk’s Combine analysis thus far>>>

OL/RB weigh-in & analysis

QB/WR/TE weigh-in results & analysis

2018 NFL Combine results – Friday Live updates

There are several good nuggets within those posts, including which Combine results Seattle values and top draft targets at each position.

Seahawks trade rumors heat up

We provided a detailed breakdown of the Michael Bennett trade situation on HawkTalk yesterday. And the smoke continues to spread with Seattle’s trade rumors, with Earl Thomas now generating interest at the Combine. From DraftAnalyst’s Tony Pauline >>>

“On Monday, I mentioned that the Seattle Seahawks will float Earl Thomas as trade bait here at the combine, and several teams are now openly talking about acquiring the safety and discussing how he would fit in their system.”

The always-plugged-in Jason La Canfora reported the same >>>

“I expect they move at least two of their trio of aging star defenders: Earl ThomasMichael Bennett and Richard Sherman… They won’t give away Earl Thomas, however; they’ll demand some value there with one year left on the perennial Pro Bowler’s deal at a manageable $8.5 million. And in the end I suspect they can land a few Day 2 picks to get something done. At this point I’d be quite surprised if Thomas was not moved.”

The speculation is such that a deal for Thomas is a strong possibility.  A few day-two picks would be nothing to sneeze at, yet I remain skeptical of the Seahawks ultimately dealing him. In effect, nothing has changed since I wrote the following in HawkTalk’s roster forecast entering the offseason >>>

“Thomas only has a year remaining on his contract, and appears unhappy with his financial security. He certainly wants another contract soon while he’s still playing elite football. And Seattle may be inclined to give it to him this offseason. If they do, expect them to be careful following the outcome of Chancellor’s risky extension. The Seahawks could theoretically save money and acquire premium draft picks by trading Thomas. However, Earl is virtually irreplaceable at Free Safety. He’s a future Hall-of-Famer still playing at that level, and Seattle needs him to compete in 2018. They could also franchise Thomas in 2019 assuming there are no immediate injury/decline concerns. Thus, Seattle can (relatively) affordably control his rights for at least two more seasons. I ultimately expect to see an extension this offseason, which could create extra cap space in 2018.”

Despite the rampant rumors, it still seems just as likely, if not more so, that Seattle extends him. In the meantime, we can rest assured that GM John Schneider will demand a high price for the future Hall-of-Famer.

Richard Sherman isn’t too pleased with fans who want the Seahawks to move Earl >>>

2018 Combine notes – CB measurements

2018 Cornerbacks – Top 25 CB’s + Seahawks notes

Pete Carroll and John Schneider have drafted the following CB’s for Seattle >>>

  • Shaquill Griffin – 3rd round, 32 ½” arms
  • Walter Thurmond III – 4th round, 33” arms
  • Richard Sherman – 5th round, 32” arms
  • Tharold Simon – 5th round, 33” arms
  • Tye Smith – 5th round, 32” arms
  • Byron Maxwell – 6th round, 33 ½” arms
  • Jeremy Lane – 6th round, 32” arms
  • Michael Tyson – 6th round, 32” arms

All of them have 32+ inch arms, and all but Thurmond were at least 6’0” entering the NFL. Those are the thresholds to watch for in today’s CB measurements >>>

  • Josh Jackson – Height: 6-0 3/8 Weight: 196 Hand: 9 3/8 Arm: 31 1/8
  • Denzel Ward – Height: 5-10 7/8 Weight: 183 Hand: 8 6/8 Arm: 31 2/8
  • Jaire Alexander – Height: 5-10 2/8 Weight: 196 Hand: 9 4/8 Arm: 31 1/8
  • Isaiah Oliver – Height: 6-0 2/8 Weight: 201 Hand: 9 6/8 Arm: 33 4/8
  • Carlton Davis – Height: 6-1 Weight: 206 Hand: Right-8 4/8, Left-8 7/8 Arm: 32 6/8
  • Isaac Yiadom – Height: 6-0 7/8 Weight: 190 Hand: 8 7/8 Arm: 32 2/8
  • Holton Hill – Height: 6-1 5/8 Weight: 196 Hand: 9 5/8 Arm: 32
  • Tarvarus McFadden – Height: 6-2 2/8 Weight: 204 Hand: 10 3/8 Arm: 32 4/8
  • Quenton Meeks – Height: 6-1 Weight: 209 Hand: 10 2/8 Arm: 31 6/8
  • Levi Wallace – Height: 6-0 2/8 Weight: 179 Hand: 9 3/8 Arm: 32 6/8
  • Chris Campbell – Height: 6-0 6/8 Weight: 195 Hand: 8 6/8 Arm: 33 4/8
  • Brandon Facyson – Height: 6-1 4/8 Weight: 203 Hand: 9 6/8 Arm: 32 5/8
  • Chris Jones – Height: 5-11 7/8 Weight: 200 Hand: 9 6/8 Arm: 32 6/8
  • JT Thomas – Height: 6-0 1/8 Weight: 187 Hand: 9 4/8 Arm: 32

We covered Joshua Jackson in depth for HawkTalk’s Seahawks mocks series, since he’s a popular mock draft choice for Seattle. I never bought it, and his 31 1/8″ arms should completely end that conversation…

Denzel Ward and Jaire Alexander aren’t Seahawks targets with their lack of size, but they are special CB prospects. Especially Ward, who measured taller but lighter than expected. He’s going to blaze in the 40-yard dash on Monday. Alexander came in heavier than anticipated, so it will be interesting to see if he can still run in the 4.3’s…

If Seattle were to buck the trend and draft a CB in the first two rounds, the names to know are Carlton Davis and Isaiah Oliver. They’re tall, athletic and extremely long, while offering either a high floor (Davis) or ceiling (Oliver) at CB…

Isaac Yiadom is a CB we covered extensively both during and following Senior Bowl week. In fact, his performance was so impressive that I mocked him to Seattle in the 5th round of our Seahawks Senior Bowl mock draft. His size, length, speed, athleticism, physicality and skills all scream “Seahawks cornerback.” Yiadom should run a fast 40, though I’m more interested in his jumps and agility testing at the combine. He’s currently underrated by his mid-round stock, and he’s perhaps the top CB target for Seattle in this draft…

Holton Hill has 2nd-round tape (maybe even 1st), but has some well-documented character concerns. He measured very well today and could help to redeem his draft stock with strong test results on Monday…

Christian Campbell and Brandon Facyson stand out to me as potential targets in the late rounds of the draft. They’re certainly not the most spectacular prospects, lacking fluidity in their movements and possessing unrefined skillsets. However, they’ve both got great size and some athletic traits to work with. The Seahawks like to find tools-y CB’s they can mold in the late rounds or undrafted free agency…

2018 Combine notes – Safety measurements

2018 Safeties – Top 15 prospects + Seahawks notes

Strong safety is a priority need for Seattle heading into free agency, and you can add FS to that if they trade Thomas. I like Delano Hill and (to a lesser extent) Tedric Thompson to compete at those respective spots if the vets aren’t available. However, the Seahawks can’t afford to go into training camp with them as the unchallenged starters. We identified several early draft targets worthy of consideration in our Safety preview linked above. With that said, here are some noteworthy measurement & weigh-in results >>>

  • Derwin James – Height: 6-1 6/8 Weight: 215 Hand: 9 4/8 Arm: 33
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick – Height: 6-0 1/8 Weight: 204 Hand: 9 3/8 Arm: 31 2/8
  • Justin Reid – Height: 6-0 4/8 Weight: 207 Hand: 9 6/8 Arm: 31 5/8
  • Deshon Elliott – Height: 6-0 7/8 Weight: 210 Hand: 10 4/8 Arm: 32 2/8
  • Ronnie Harrison – Height: 6-2 Weight: 207 Hand: 9 4/8 Arm: 33 3/8
  • Jessie Bates – Height: 6-1 1/8 Weight: 200 Hand: 9 6/8 Arm: 31 5/8
  • Kyzir White – Height: 6-1 7/8 Weight: 218 Hand: 10 1/8 Arm: 31 5/8
  • Marcus Allen – Height: 6-2 1/8 Weight: 215 Hand: 9 1/8 Arm: 30 5/8
  • Quin Blanding – Height: 6-2 Weight: 207 Hand: 8 3/8 Arm: 31 6/8
  • Terrell Edmunds – Height: 6-0 4/8 Weight: 217 Hand: 10 4/8 Arm: 32 6/8
  • Armani Watts – Height: 5-10 4/8 Weight: 202 Hand: 8 6/8 Arm: 31

Hide the women and children – Derwin James is in the house. While he measured slightly smaller than expected, he’s still the most physically impressive DB at the Combine. James is outstanding; the best Safety prospect since Eric Berry, or perhaps (gulp) Sean Taylor. He is underrated in the media right now, despite receiving early top-10 hype and then playing dominant football this season. National draft analysts Mel Kiper, Lance Zierlein and Bucky Brooks all mocked James to Seattle at the 18th pick. The popular Seahawks/James mock draft connection prompted me to write a detailed post on him in January >>>

Seahawks mocks: Elite FSU safety Derwin James

I don’t envision many circumstances where the Seahawks stay put at the 18th pick in the draft. But James being available is the dream scenario. I don’t say this lightly – James could become a better NFL player than Kam Chancellor. While powerful, James isn’t same thumper as Kam (who is?). However, he is a smart kid, a leader, and everything you could feasibly want in a strong safety. He’s a game-changing talent, and perhaps the best defensive prospect in this entire draft class. If his medicals check out, he’s a top-10 pick…

Justin Reid, DeShon Elliott and Jessie Bates all stand out to me as potential replacements for Earl. Reid is a poor-man’s Minkah Fitzpatrick, excelling in the slot and at both Safety positions. He’s versatile, athletic, smart, and (interestingly) could be paired with his brother SS Eric Reid in free agency. Elliott is also interchangeable at both Safety spots, but might project best at SS in Seattle upon further thought. Watch for both to climb up the consensus ranks into the 2nd/3rd round throughout the draft process. Either is capable of making an early impact, as Delano would have last year if he had the opportunity.

In contrast, Bates may be more of a project. He’s a purer FS who’s rangy, fluid and instinctual, but he’s raw and a wildly inconsistent tackler. It goes without saying that each of these FS prospects would be substantial downgrades from Earl. Additionally, no 2018 Safeties in Seattle’s projected draft range grade higher for me than Delano did last year (R2)…

Ronnie Harrison has a terrific frame, but I feel he’s a bit overrated at this point. Kyzir White stood out at the Senior Bowl, and he’s a name to monitor for Seattle at 6’2, 218 lbs…

2018 Combine notes – WR workout results

*WR & TE measurements posted here

While I like the Seahawks WR room of Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Amara Darboh, it’s currently missing three important elements. Those would be elite 1) size, 2) downfield-ability, and 3) contested-catch threats.

Here are the workout results for several WR’s who provide some of those traits, along with other top prospects at the Combine >>>

Name Height Weight Off. 40 Bench Vertical Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
Ateman, Marcell 6044 216 4.62 13 34″ 10’1″  7.07  4.25
Cain, Deon 6017 202 4.43 11 33.5″ 9’7″ 6.71 4.37
Cantrell, Dylan 6027 226 4.59 18 38.5″ 10’10”  6.56  4.03
Chark, D.J. 6027 199 4.34 16 40″ 10’9″    
Cobbs, Simmie 6031 220 4.64 11 30″ 9’5″  6.70  4.32
Gallup, Michael 6006 205 4.51 10 36″ 10’2″ 6.95 4.37
Kirk, Christian 5103 201 4.47 20 35.5″ 9’7″ 7.09 4.45
Lacy, Chris 6030 205 4.51 11 33.5″ 10’0″    
Lazard, Allen 6045 225 4.55 17 38″ 10’2″    
Moore, D.J. 6000 210 4.42 15 39.5″ 11′  6.95  4.07
Moore, J’Mon 6025 207 4.60 21 38″ 10’0″ 6.56 4.04
Ridley, Calvin 6004 189 4.43 15 31″ 9’2″ 6.88 4.41
Scott, Jaleel 6046 218 4.56 16 34.5″ 10’4″ 7.20 4.40
Smith, Tre’Quan 6020 210 4.49 12 37.5″ 10’10” 6.97 4.50
St. Brown, Equanimeous 6046 214 4.48 20        
Sutton, Courtland 6033 218 4.54 18 35.5″ 10’4″  6.57  4.11
Tate, Auden 6047 228 4.68   31″ 9’4″    
Valdes-Scantling, Marquez 6040 206 4.37 15 30.5″ 10’4″    
Washington, James 5110 213 4.54 14 34.5″ 10’0″  7.11  4.32
Weah, Jester 6020 210 4.43 15 38″ 10’9″ 7.24 4.37
Wieneke, Jake 6040 221 4.67 9 34″ 9’6″ 7.24 4.37
Wilson, Cedrick 6022 188 4.55 9 37″ 10’1″ 6.89 4.23
Wims, Javon 6027 215 4.53   33.5″ 9’5″ 7.00  

Going into the Combine, there appeared to be a 4-way race for the #1 WR spot in this draft. I’d say the general rankings by many draft pundits were 1) Calvin Ridley, 2) Christian Kirk, 3) Courtland Sutton, and 4) D.J. Moore. After what we witnessed today, flip those rankings upside down…

Kirk and especially Ridley fell considerably below expectations in most of the Combine scores. They ran good 40-times at 4.47 and 4.43 respectively, yet posted largely pedestrian numbers in the other tests. The need for wide-outs around the league may keep one or both in the 1st round, though I’m not sure they grade so highly…

On the other hand, Moore lived up to and even surpassed the hype. He tested in the 97th percentile of NFL WR’s with a SPARQ score of 137.4. Not only did he run a fast forty (4.42) at 210 lbs, he also rocked the broad (11 feet) and vertical (39.5”) jumps and posted a swift 4.07 short shuttle. He was a playmaker and supreme target-hog at Maryland, and will be a 21-year old NFL rookie. Pencil him into the 1st-round as a rich-man’s Golden Tate…

Sutton wasn’t too far behind with a 128.2 SPARQ score, posting good to great numbers across the board. Especially when you factor in his tall, strong & proportioned frame. The 1st round is in his future, perhaps as the top receiver off the board…

Does anyone else merit 1st round consideration? James Washington won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver and stood out at the Combine. However, he’s under 6’0” tall and a mediocre athlete at best… Michael Gallup had a decent Combine after a good Senior Bowl after a great season. Not sure that’s enough… D.J. Chark may be the biggest winner at WR today with his lightning fast 4.34 forty and explosive jumps. He also stood out in a major way at the Senior Bowl, but the tape is not great (even considering LSU’s QB-play)…

Let’s circle back to the plus size receivers who threaten downfield and/or in contested catch situations. Aka – what Seattle lacks in its WR-room. Like Chark, the extraordinarily-named Equanimeous St. Brown was held back in college by sub-par QB-play. He ran an exceptional 40 (4.48) for a 6’5, 214 lb WR today, though didn’t participate in the other tests. I’m really intrigued by his ability, and will probably grade him a lot higher than his production suggests… Tre’Quan Smith performed well, especially in the jumps, and stands 6’2” with 33 3/8” arms. He averaged close to 20 yards per reception this year, so he’s a name to remember… As is the 6’4” Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who ran a scintillating 4.37 and produced just enough to pique interest… J’Mon Moore ran a slow 40, but posted fantastic numbers in the other tests… Jaleel Scott’s numbers backed up what you see on tape – a tall, explosive contested-catch demon who lacks separation-ability…

2018 Combine notes – TE notes & Seahawks analysis

We ranked Tight End as one of Seattle’s top priority roster needs heading into this offseason >>>

Seahawks 2018 team needs

With the Seahawks’ TE cupboard looking bare, there’s no question it’s a position to watch at the Combine. Given that, what is Seattle looking for in a TE prospect? Well, we found a clear tendency at TE which appears just as concrete as Seattle’ preference for 32+ inch arms at Cornerback. Here’s a list of every PCJS draft pick and relevant UDFA signing at Tight End, along with the two primary starters during this era >>>

  • Jimmy Graham – 6.90 3-cone time
  • Zach Miller – 7.01
  • Nick Vannett – 7.05
  • Luke Willson – 7.08
  • Anthony McCoy – 6.99
  • Jameson Konz – 6.93
  • Tyrone Swoopes – 6.89
  • Cooper Helfet – 6.82
  • Sean McGrath – 6.99

Note the bolded 3-cone results, with each player timing under 7.10 seconds. Those are all fast times, with the slowest (7.08) still being in the 62nd percentile of TE testers (per Graham’s 6.90 3-cone time is in the 90th percentile.

What can we make of this? Well, it appears the Seahawks brass clearly prioritizes the 3-cone combine drill for Tight Ends. The 3-cone is arguably the most practical Combine athletic test, as it most closely mirrors player movement on the field. The drill tests agility, change-of-direction and balance, and is typically seen as an important test for edge rushers. Perhaps Seattle values those same traits in their TE’s, who are roughly the same size as the edge defenders they block. Keep note of which TE’s can race to a time in the 7.00’s or faster. It’ll be a small group, and should help to narrow down Seattle’s top TE targets in the draft.

We broke-down all this and more in our thorough preview of the 2018 TE draft class:

2018 Tight Ends – Top 15 prospects + Seahawks notes

Watch for Mike Gesicki and outstanding small-school TE Dallas Goedert to test well across the board today. I’m also looking forward to seeing the likes of Mark Andrews, Hayden Hurst, Ian Thomas, Christopher Herndon, Tyler Conklin and Jordan Thomas (among others) >>>

2018 Combine notes – TE workout results

Name Official 40 Bench Vertical Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
Akins, Jordan            
Andrews, Mark 4.67 17   9’5″ 7.34 4.38
Baugh, Marcus     33″ 9’9″ 7.28 4.51
Conklin, Tyler 4.80 18 38″ 10’0″ 7.13 4.23
Dissly, Will   15   9’3″ 7.07 4.40
Fumagalli, Troy   14        
Gesicki, Mike 4.54 22 41.5″ 10’9″ 6.76 4.10
Goedert, Dallas   23        
Herndon, Chris   21        
Hurst, Hayden 4.67     10’0″ 7.19 4.37
Izzo, Ryan   18 33″ 9’2″ 7.15 4.43
Samuels, Jaylen 4.54 18 34.5″ 10’1″ 6.93 4.28
Schultz, Dalton 4.75 15   10’0″ 7.00 4.40
Smythe, Durham   18   9’2″ 7.17 4.23
Thomas, Ian 4.74 16 36″ 9’3″ 7.15 4.20
Thomas, Jordan 4.74     10’3″ 7.50 4.75
Wells, David 4.75 20 33″ 9’8″ 7.50 4.59

My oh my Mike Gesicki. If you read HawkTalk’s 2018 TE class preview, his spectacular testing results will come as no surprise. However, it was still eye-opening to see that type of explosion:

Gesicki crushed both agility drills as well, really cementing his status as one of the top Tight Ends in this draft. And I use that term loosely, as he’s essentially a WR in a TE’s body (including a lack of in-line blocking). Teams would be smart to flex him into the slot or even out wide, where he has the size and athletic chops to be a playmaker…

Here’s the list of top performers in the 3-cone at TE, which is most likely where a Seahawks draft pick would come from >>>

  • Gesicki – 6.76
  • Jaylen Samuels – 6.93
  • Dalton Schultz – 7.00
  • Will Dissly – 7.07

Samuels doesn’t project as a true TE in Seattle’s offense, nor does Gesicki in all likelihood. The latter could still be an option as a move TE / WR, but I don’t see him as a top Hawks’ target (despite being a big fan). Schultz and Dissly are the key names to note here, especially since they are true Y-Tight Ends and great blockers. Dallas Goedert and Chris Herndon didn’t work out, but they may have that sub-7.10 quickness as well. If we stretch it out a bit, a few more intriguing prospects posted decent times >>>

  • Tyler Conklin – 7.13
  • Ryan Izzo – 7.15
  • Ian Thomas – 7.15

It’s too bad Goedert isn’t running today. He’s a great athlete and stands alone as the top Tight End in this class. He’s the best receiver in my opinion, and has more blocking upside than any of the top TE’s. I think Seattle will at least consider him in the 1st round, depending on what happens in free agency…

Samuels is working out with the TE’s, however he’s more of a do-it-all RB who can run routes from virtually any alignment. 4.54 is a great time for him at 225 lbs, as speed was a big question mark coming into the Combine. I don’t know if Seattle would target him, but his stock continues to rise after excelling at the Senior Bowl…

Speaking of great times, I was puzzled by the concerns over Mark Andrews’ athleticism heading into the Combine. He helped put those to rest with a 4.67 40-time, which is quite solid at 6’5, 256 lbs…