RobRang:: I see the Hawks focusing on DBs. CB or S is the question, as the team is trying to figure out where Jordan Babineaux fits best. The three favorites as I see them right now are Kelly Jennings, Donte Whitner, or Jonathan Joseph.
rockhawkx:: Piggyback on to your answer, Rob... do the Hawks see Babineaux as a full time starter at either position (CB or S)?
RobRang:: From what I've seen/heard with Babineaux, it appears that the team is leaning towards him playing safety if they can get a talented enough CB. If not, he can play CB and the team can find a safety. That is the beauty of his game. He's versatile enough to fill in , in a pinch, at either position. Ultimately, I believe it has more to do with the talent of the players available to Seattle. Whichever position (S or CB) has the better talent available is likely where they go with #31
RobRang:: I don't think the team wants to assume Babineaux can start at either position, but is willing to let him compete for the starting position. ....
rockhawkx:: But is he starter material?
RobRang:: I don't believe so, rockhawkx, not for a Super Bowl contending team.
dfarrar777:: With the acquisition of Julian Peterson and the re-signing of Rocky Bernard, do the Seahawks believe their pass rush personnel is sewn up, or do you see them taking a dedicated pass rusher early on in the draft?
RobRang:: I believe the Hawks will look for a pass rush specialist if one happens to fall to them at some point, but I don't believe they'll reach for one. I know that Kiwanuka and Hali, in particular, have been linked to them often and I just don't see it. Not in the first round, anyway...
rorygee:: ok mr rang sir......do you see any offensive players in the first round or.....?
RobRang:: Rorygee, I don't believe the Hawks are specifically targeting any offensive players in the first round, but as they showed last year, they will take the best available player. That said, I would be quite surprised to see Seattle take an offensive player in the first round simply because their perceived weakness - DB - is the strength of the draft from picks 20-40.
RufusTatupu:: Is there any chance to go OG early. (Davin) Joseph in the first or (Charles) Spencer in the second.
RobRang:: I don't believe the team goes after a guard in the first or second. Joseph is a good player and one who fits the team well, but with the addition of Ashworth as well as the depth Seattle already has along the line, I don't believe the team feels it is necessary.
SchleprockHawk:: Rob - much appreciate your insight on Front Office interests, along with sincere and thorough Prospect assessment the last couple years. Your opinion is certainly valued and respected. Now to my question... What have you heard regarding the Ken Hamlin situation, as far as the team’s realistic expectations and interest in shoring up that position. Would it be a coincidence to take a Safety early (as you just mentioned we're likely slotted there), or does the team remain quite concerned about his return to form? (I'll make the next Q less verbose, eh).
RobRang:: SchleprockHawk... First, thanks for the kind words... Talking to members of the team, they feel extraordinarily lucky that Hamlin will likely play again at all. They do not, however, seem to be willing to bank on the fact that Hamlin will be back 100% for next year. With the team attempting like never before to gear up for a Super Bowl run, I believe they'll address the S position as insurance against Hamlin not being 100% (or even playing at all) this season.
SchleprockHawk:: Gotcha - thx
hawkssoar:: So do you think the hawks go CB first?
RobRang:: I think the Hawks will either go CB or S first depending on who is available. At this point, I see several DBs worthy of the #31 pick. Jimmy Williams, Michael Huff, Jason Allen, Whitner, Hill, Joseph, Jennings, etc. Youboty, Marshall, Bing are others who could surprise as firsts.
RufusTatupu:: Will Tom Ashworth start? And where.
RobRang:: I think Ashworth has a chance to start. Womack, as Holmgren said, will get the first crack at LG. Locklear had a terrific first year as the starting RT, but with questions about him due to the criminal case, Ashworth could fill in there or at LG. Obviously Chris Gray isn't going to last forever either. The beauty of Seattle's line is that there are about 7 starting caliber players. The team has a long time still to figure out their top five.
ScottEklund:: rob...any words on Antonio Cromartie? is he going to fall a bit because of his injury?
RobRang:: Cromartie is such an intriguing guy because he is a legitimate 6-2, 4.3 guy who is a playmaker, not just an great athlete in shorts. The ACL, of course, will scare some teams off, but his workouts have shown he is pretty close to healthy. What I believe will scare teams more is why did he decide to come out following the injury. He's only a junior. He could have returned for his senior season. It raises the question of maturity and accountability. Did he let his grades slip or ??? Cromartie has a chance to be a #1 because of his awesome size/speed numbers, but teams know he is a gamble. He's only started 1 game over his career...
jammerhawk:: Which DB fits us best?
RobRang:: Which DB fits Seattle best? I would say Jennings, Hill, or Joseph at CB or Allen, Whitner at S. Hill and Allen should both be long gone. I personally believe Jason Allen is the best of the bunch.
dfarrar777:: Why do you think the Seahawks were renegotiating with (CB Andre) Dyson before he signed with the Jets? Did they see him as a starter again?
RobRang:: Oh, I think they absolutely saw Dyson as a potential starter again, Doug. Remember, Dyson was a pretty solid player and a very durable corner throughout his career before this past season. After cutting him, the team was probably looking to save some money if they could get him back. I believe he fit the team's philosophy much more so than the overrated vets like Law, Woodson still on the market.
jseahawks:: Last year the Hawks targeted Tatupu and went up to get him. Are there any sort of "under the radar" type guys that don't have the computer numbers but have all the intangibles that the Hawks might be targeting this year in the 2nd or 3rd rounds?
RobRang:: Well, if things go the way I/they expect, Seattle won't have a 3rd round pick. It will be in Minnesota in exchange for Burleson. I don't know that they are targeting a certain player in round two at this time. There is still a lot of moving up and down of prospects that will happen in the month between now and draft, believe it or not. I do believe the team is targeting a set group of DBs, but will jump instead at a different position if too good of a player lasts until #31. If that were to happen -- say OLB Chad Greenway, a guy I think fits them well, drops into their laps -- they might go for him in the first round and then have to target a CB or S in the second and move up to guarantee getting him. Some of top DBs in the second include S Daniel Bullocks, Darnell Bing, and CBs Richard Marshall, Alan Zemaitis, etc.
jammerhawk:: Where do you see Cedric Griffin being picked?
RobRang:: We have Cedric Griffin as a 3rd round prospect
Seahawkfan1984:: Are your sources telling you which players Seattle is targeting (last year you knew who they wanted in Round 1)? Like maybe Marcus Maxey or Danieal Manning if they go CB in Round 2?
RobRang:: No, my sources won't say who they're targeting. They rarely have. I just have learned Seattle's likes and dislikes over the years well enough to be able to figure out some of the guys they like. Very rarely, does someone actually say, "Hey, we're looking to get this guy in __ round." It just doesn't work that way because they don't know who is going to be available either - especially now that they are drafting so much lower.
SchleprockHawk:: How accurate are the rumors in regards to Charles Woodson? I've heard several names linked with the Seahawks this offseason that make me cringe (from a chemistry standpoint). Are we seriously considering problematic/talented players - at the risk of obliterating a nucleus that finally proved the difference is cohesion?
RobRang:: I don't see Seattle going for either Law or Woodson to be perfectly honest. One of the nice things about still having some cap room is that the June 1st cuts will be coming up after the draft and the team can make other alterations if needed. Not to say that Law or Woodson won't eventually be signed, but I don't know of any imminent plans and like you (apparently), I don't know that aging players with reps for disruption fit what Ruskell and Co. is trying to establish here.
rorygee:: so with the focus of the hawks draft on the defense....is that the focus of coach mike or Mr. Ruskell?
RobRang:: Coach Holmgren certainly has a say in the drafting of the players - all coaches do. But ultimately the decision lies with Ruskell and his scouting department.
thomcatpurrs:: rob i know this isn’t a draft question but will you answer if you think the coach will resign or finish out here then go some where else to be gm again?
RobRang:: Strictly going off my gut here, but I think Holmgren retires after next season.
jammerhawk:: Do you think we might actually find a solid pass rushing DE this draft, we've been trying for a few years now?
RobRang:: I do believe Seattle will look to find a pass rush specialist just as they did last year with Huckeba. That said, barring a talent like Manny Lawson or Kamerion Wimbley falling into their lap at 31 (which will not happen), Seattle is almost surely looking elsewhere early. Darryl Tapp in the second is a possibility, as is Stanley McClover or Mark Anderson.
Hawkstorian:: With New Orleans signing Drew Brees and having a chance to draft an impact defender, do you think they're a team that might jump up in '06 despite all they've endured this past year?
RobRang:: They could take an impact defender at #2 like Mario Williams, but the more likely scenario has them taking LT Brick Ferguson. Ultimately, Matt Leinart is the 2nd rated player on almost every board so I think the Saints will try to trade down a spot or two and take Ferguson while adding a couple of picks.
PithyRadish:: Have you heard any word about Bob Casullo and another "not so special" teams year?
dfarrar777:: To piggyback on Les' question...Maurice Drew as Darren Sproles?
RobRang:: From everything I hear Casullo will be back. The team will look for special teams help via the draft. Getting Bannister back would be very helpful and the team is supposedly more willing to test Seneca Wallace as a punt returner. If so, their punt return worries are probably solved.
RobRang:: I absolutely love Maurice Drew and think he can easily just as effective as Sproles was last year and much more so if given the chance to a fulltime guy. I think he could absolutely be a Westbrook-type back.
PithyRadish:: Any idea where Jerome Harrison might fall?
RobRang:: I see Jerome Harrison as a middle round pick. He reminds me a great deal of JJ Arrington - who obviously was drafted last year in the 2nd, but struggled. Harrison, to be successful, needs wide open running lanes ala Arrington...
VolsHawk:: Hey Rob - I'm UT grad so I've followed them rather closely. I was wondering what your thoughts were on Parys Haralson and if you think he can succeed as a pass rushing DE in this league? Thanks.
RobRang:: Haralson is an intriguing guy. I think his best bet will be to come in as a 3-4 rush linebacker, but if a team is willing to keep him strictly as a 4-3 pass rusher, he could be quite successful. He has great burst off the snap and is a natural, instinctive pass rusher. He just doesn't have the body to bulk up big enough to ever be a fulltime DE - at least not in Seattle's scheme.
RobRang:: I wasn't a huge (Jeb) Huckeba fan when they drafted him, but acknowledge that he is an intriguing athlete if he can add some weight. It will be interesting to see him at the mini-camp.
ivotuk:: Backup QB, Greene, Seneca, Harrington or?
RobRang:: I really like the idea of Harrington if Seattle can add him for a minimal loss of picks. Without question Hasselbeck is the starter, which relieves the pressure off of Harrington. He then can get back to what made him successful at Oregon, learning and playing within the confines of the offense rather than trying to get cute and carry the team on his back. Also, this would open up the window for Wallace to participate more in other roles, which I am a huge, huge, huge proponent of...
RufusTatupu:: Is DE Victor Adeyanju a reach in the second?.
RobRang:: I like Adeyanju and because of that, wouldn't bat an eye at him going in the late 2nd, but he isn't perceived by scouts to be a player who has worked hard enough to maximize his ability yet. He should be better than he has shown.
SchleprockHawk:: TE Vernon Davis blew up the charts due to a stellar Combine. How highly rated was he on your board prior to that, based on his in-game Football performances? Does he look like a 'Player' to you? Or an athlete?
RobRang:: I saw Davis as a mid to late first round pick once he made his intentions known and I got a chance to really scout him. Ever since the workout, we've moved him into the top ten prospects of the draft. I think SF, Oakland, Buff at 6-8 will strongly consider him and that he could further the development of theTE as a huge, huge weapon in the NFL.
BBlades89:: Rob, what do you think of Tim Jennings (Georgia)? Thanks
RobRang:: BBlades89, I'm a big Jennings fan. I've argued to rank him as a 2nd round pick, which is higher than anyone I know of. I like gutsy little corners in the 2 deep scheme. The kid breaks on the ball very well and has been a standout on a team full of superb athletes (Georgia).
dfarrar777:: Last year, you nailed the potential of Lofa Tatupu better than anyone else - who are this year’s "Lofas"? Not so much second-day sleepers as guys who will go in the first few rounds, and their intangibles will make them real steals?
RobRang:: A good question Doug, but ultimately a very difficult one because guys who make an immediate impact like Tatupu are so very, very rare. There are always guys like Merriman or DeMarcus Ware who make an immediate impact because they are simply that athletic, but rookies to make an immediate impact because of their mind and heart is a true rarity. I like Greenway to slip and then surprise people. I like Jason Allen a lot. I like Daniel Bullocks to surprise... Some of the 2nd round TEs like Klopfenstein, Lewis could surprise. RBs like Drew, Calhoun, etc.
SchleprockHawk:: But what are your personal perceptions? You saw those numbers based on his football skills? Or the numbers far outweigh his actual performances?
RobRang:: Davis' numbers are better any just about any other athlete at his size in history, so you really can't make the comparison or judgment based on others. I will say this, Davis was at times a dominant force. Not often, but sometimes. That said, he had very little help in the Maryland offense last year. He could be a very special player, but strictly as a receiving specialist. He works hard as a blocker, but he'll be paid to catch the ball and run with it.
RufusTatupu:: We all know we'll take a QB somewhere if Holmgren has anything to say about it. Have you heard any names for the late rounds, Drew Olson, Kellen Clemens?
RobRang:: Both Olson and Clemens make sense due to their consistency in the short to medium range. Clemens helped himself with a strong Combine. I like Olson's ability to roll out and throw across his body.
jseahawks:: Where do you see Vince Young being drafted and how successful do you think he will be as a pro?
RobRang:: Vince Young is an interesting story. I've literally talked to reps from just about every team in the top 5 and everyone goes out of their way to applaud his game, but no one seems willing to take him. The Jets will consider him at 4. The Raiders might consider him, but I, honestly, don't think they'll take him. The Cardinals and Ravens might consider him. The two teams to really watch out for in my mind are actually Denver and Minnesota who each could move up to get him.
Redassump:: what position is deeper in the draft corner or safety and who would fit our team better as a first rounder.
RobRang:: Corner is deeper in that there are 12 players we currently think could be 2nd round picks. Safety is deeper than normal as well, however. There are 8 safeties we feel could be taken during this time.
flatrate:: Any chance of Chad Jackson falling to us, and if so would we take him?
RobRang:: No way Chad Jackson falls to Seattle and with Burleson likely in the fold, Seattle will be looking to other positions.
Seahawkfan1984:: Rob - I personally believe that Seattle has to address the rush DE position before the CB position since a great pass rush makes average corners look good or great. That being said, I'm surprised more people aren't talking about Seattle picking Darryl Tapp at #31 or trading down 10-15 spots, picking up the third we lost for Burleson, and then getting him. He seems like the classic Ruskell player - very productive at a big school, leader, extremely hard worker, etc. Also, I watched tape of the Senior Bowl game and I thought he really played well. Although he didn't get sacks, on numerous occasions he got close to getting a sack and blew up the play. He might not be that fast, but he uses his hands extremely well in getting by OTs. Thoughts?
RobRang:: Agreed 1984, Tapp is an intriguing player in terms of his pass rush skills. That said, the argument against taking him at 31 or even at 45ish (in trade down scenario) is that you are using your top pick on a player who essentially will only see the field 10 plays or so a game. Granted, that is more than Spencer saw last year, but he is being groomed to one day play all the offensive snaps. For a player like Tapp, who is basically as big and strong as he's going to get, using such a high round pick on a specialist is a move most teams simply won't make. I completely understand your sentiment, however, and absolutely agree that if Tapp were to come to Seattle, his burst off the edge would bring back memories of Rufus Porter, but I see it as a longshot unless the team can add him in the later second round and has already addressed the DB situation.
ivotuk:: Receiving RB or FB ala John L Williams or backup?
RobRang:: I think the team feels they are as strong as RB and FB as they've ever been. With Morris re-signing, I'd be shocked to see the club use a pick on a RB or FB until the late, late 2nd day (and even then surprised).
Redassump:: do we trade first round pick for additional picks.?
RobRang:: I don't know that there will be a lot of interest in the #31 pick, so a trade down might be tough. It just depends on who is available. Honestly, I'd be less surprised by a trade up than a trade down (and with only 2 picks on the first day, I'd be pretty surprised by a trade up too...)
dfarrar777:: What are your thoughts on Nate Burleson, and how much do you think losing Joe Jurevicius will hurt the offense?
RobRang:: I really like how Burleson fits into this offense. This is precisely the type of offense that when he came out of Nevada a few years ago, I thought he could be successful in. I always question how effective he'll be in his first season in a new offense, because historically very few veteran WRs have had big seasons in their first year on a new team. That said, his body and receiving style is a perfect match. A nice move by Seattle and one that shows more mental toughness and aggression that front offices of the past would have shown. I like the statement to the league this move - for this contract - makes to the league. Seattle wasn't satisfied just playing in the Super Bowl. They will do whatever they can to go back and win it - and not many front offices actually show that dedication the season after their initial success....
jammerhawk:: Rob in one of your recent drafts you have us taking CB-Kelly Jennings as our pick, it was the highest ranking I've seen for him considering his slight frame and seeming limitations in run support. Do you really think he's a 1st rounder or were you reaching for obvious needs for the Hawks? If not him are either Joseph or Marshall equally likely choices for us? While asking this is there a reasonable possibility that Allen will play CB as he seems to have the short area quickness and adequate speed ?
RobRang:: No, I completely believe that Jennings is a first round caliber CB. Sure, he has a slight frame, but his agility and consistency are among the best of the CB class. He isn't a great run support guy, but so very few CBs are. I think he is a great fit for Seattle, actually. He played very well at the Senior Bowl and I always use that as a great measuring stick for seniors.
RobRang:: Regarding Richard Marshall, Jonathan Joseph, and Jason Allen now..
RobRang:: Marshall is a talented kid, but he lacks maturity and I just don't see him fitting in with what Seattle is preaching.
RobRang:: Joseph is a phenomenal athlete and one I think based on his upside gets drafted before Seattle. Still, he only has essentially a year and half at the DI level, so there are obvious concerns about how ready he is.
dfarrar777:: 84 and Schlep are the last questions. PLEASE HOLD.
RobRang:: Allen, in my mind, is the best DB of the whole damn draft if he is healthy. He'll want to play CB because they all want to play CB, but he is a FS through and through. I mentioned earlier that I could see Seattle trading up. If I ran the team, he's a player I'd consider going up to get should he get into the early 20s...
SchleprockHawk:: Back to TEs: Why am I hearing nothing about USC TE Dominique Byrd, who soaked up Senior Bowl week like an unquestionable superstar (in my mind). After parlaying a tremendous and consistent week of practice into a stellar game performance - he has disappeared from name-dropping and doesn't appear rated top5 at the position. What's your take on him? And has anything occurred since the Senior Bowl to drop him out of favor?
RobRang:: Quite honestly, I've been high on Dominique Byrd all season long and then when he had a strong Senior Bowl performance I wasn't at all surprised. Byrd is a solid player and one who consistently made clutch receptions throughout his career. I sat through the Senior Bowl practices, as well, and while I thought he was solid, he wasn't the dominant force some like to make him sound. He was the same solid guy he's always been. He lacks the body to have the significant upside, so he remains as he always has with me a solid 2nd round pick.
SchleprockHawk:: I'm hearing the knock on height is the main concern. Isn’t he the same as Davis? 6'4"?
RobRang:: Byrd, like Davis is 6-3. Byrd has a short, chubby frame at 255 pounds whereas Davis is stacked. Stil think Byrd is a very good player, just not a rare talent like Davis.
RufusTatupu:: Are the Hawks considering starting Spencer at one of the guard spots. Learn the why's and when's by playing beside Tobeck in a real game. Like Mawae did next to Donaldson a few years back. Or was that Glover. Whichever.
RobRang:: I think Seattle would consider Spencer at guard if they had to, but with the depth they have with Ashworth, Womack, Locklear, Willis, etc. they don't have to.
Seahawkfan1984:: Thinking outside the box a little, why not try Seneca at CB or S (like NE did with Troy Brown)? Frankly, with Burleson coming in, Warrick healthy, and Hackett a year older, it seems like Seattle should be fine at WR. But I worry a little about our secondary. And Seneca is so quick (probably quicker than Troy Brown) that it seems like he could make the adjustment.
RobRang:: I don't know that Seattle is willing to think outside of the box enough to try Seneca at DB. Intriguing thought, though.
Flattman:: Pure Personal Interest Question, though I tend to still think the Hawks could benefit from a late-round steal... Free Agency made the potential picks make FAR less sense, but I'd like to hear your take on the Big Three from my Alma Mater, UNM: C Ryan Cook, WR Hank Baskett, RB DonTrell Moore. (I would have loved to see either Baskett or Moore in a Seahawk uniform, but the Burleson deal and the resigning of MoMo ((Maurice Morris) eliminated a need. I could see Cook as good depth if he could convert to Guard. Huge, Strong, Mobility problems... ) I think they've ALL gotten a bit of a public awareness hit by merit of being Lobos. Any would be a late 2nd-day steal, though I'd start convulsing if Baskett fell that far. (Feel free to skip mine for more Hawk-centric stuff, I didn't realize you were running so close to the end.)
Flattman:: Mine's irrelevant, but I had to throw it out there for the Former Home Team.
RobRang:: Sorry UNM alum, but I think you might be wise to prepare yourself for some convulsions because I'd be pretty surprised to see Baskett go in the top three rounds. Our draft biographer loves him, and I like him, but I still see him as a 4th or so...
Flattman:: I can see 4th. I was talking convulsions by 6th or 7th.
flatrate:: Is there a rift between Ruskell and Holmgren over the Hutchinson thing amongst others?
RobRang:: Don't know of any rift between Holmgren and Ruskell. Quite the opposite, actually. There seems to be a great deal of mutual respect.
jammerhawk:: Thanks for your DB assessments, man I could ask a hundred more questions and greatly appreciate your time here. Your thoughts are IMO the best input on the draft available anywhere. Thanks again!
RufusTatupu:: Thank you very much Rob, my first time and it was great.
RufusTatupu:: Let me rephrase that, it was very educational.
kamal:: thank you
SchleprockHawk:: Thanks much, Rob - enjoy your April!
Seahawkfan1984:: Thanks, Rob. Awesome as usual!!!
jseahawks:: Thanks a lot for all the info... it's much appreciated.
BBlades89:: Thanks Rob!
BucketheadJones:: Rob, please take a second to plug your site...
dfarrar777:: Okay, Mr. Rang... TIME FOR THE PLUG. Tell us about NFLDraftScout.com!
RobRang:: Thanks for the time and interest, everyone. As those who have seen/heard me talk draft in person, I can ramble on for hours. That is precisely what NFLDraftScout.com is all about. We have more and better profiles than anyone else. Many haven't heard of the Sports XChange and that is simply because we're like independent contractors. Our information is sent to USA Today, CBS Sportsline, Fox, AOL, CSTV, etc. Come in a say hello to me tomorrow during the live USATODAY.com chat. Thanks as always to everyone who came and to Todd, Doug for setting this up.
dfarrar777:: Thank YOU, Rob. These chats are always wonderful.
Rob Rang, one of the foremost Draft Experts in the country, is the Senior Draft Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, one of the premier draft sites in the country. Prior to that, Rob was the Owner and Editor of www.westcoastdraft.com for many years. First recognized by SportsTALK.com (now a component of ESPN Insiders), Rob's work has been featured in quality print, radio, internet, and television networks across the country. USA Today, ESPN, The Sporting News, and CBS Sportsline have all featured elements of Rob's work in the past. NFL front office executives, scouts, and collegiate scouting directors agree that Rob's work is some of the best available, as well. Gil Brandt, recognized for his 29 years as the vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys and now the head draft analyst for NFL.com, frequently uses Rob's information as a supplement to his own for the NFL's base website. His work features not only the detailed player profiles for which he has become so well known, but also historically accurate mock drafts, position breakdown lists considered even more reliable than the scouting services NFL teams typically use, and breaking information such as underclassmen declarations and the Combine results before anyone else. Based in Gig Harbor, Washington, Rob has quickly become a fixture at the elite scouting events held all over the country each year - including the East-West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and numerous Pro Day workouts. You can contact Rob at email@example.com.
It would be difficult, if not impossible, to convey our gratitude to Rob for taking time out of what is a very busy schedule to answer the questions of the Seahawks.NET community.