Sunday, 31 May 2009

Aaron Curry interviews Jason Smith

New division rivals Aaron Curry and Jason Smith staged an interview for Panini during the rookie get-together. Amongst the revelations - Curry confesses his 'man crush' for the second overall pick. They also discuss (without the slightest hint of bitterness...) the fact neither were hot property when recruited for college, but both went very early in the first round.

Many thanks to War Hawk for sending me this.

I also wrote an article recently discussing the potential match-ups between Jason Smith and Aaron Curry in the opening weekend Seahawks-Rams game. Feel free to check it out by clicking here.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Rookie dance off

Thanks to Eric Williams for bringing this to my attention...

It's the first chance to see Aaron Curry in his Seahawks uniform. Congratulations also to Knowshon 'I'm not taking this too seriously' Moreno. He might not be playing for the Seahawks, but you can't help but like Knowshon.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Neon green jersey debate rages on...

It's been a topic of debate for some time, but there's another strong hint today that the Seahawks will reveal a neon green alternative jersey this year.

Aaron Curry and Mark Sanchez were filmed competing in a game of Madden '10, with Curry obviously controlling the Seahawks. The team are shown wearing the new jersey in the game, which makes you wonder if the producers have inside knowledge that the team intend to use it in 2009.

What do you think?

The Bobby Engram Foundation - support the cause

I wanted to bring every one's attention to an important charity event which is taking place on June 13th. The Bobby Engram Foundation has announced its 2nd annual Celebrity Softball Game at Cheney Stadium, Tacoma WA.

An ever growing cast of all-star guests currently includes:

Host: Bobby Engram

Seahawks: Nate Burleson, Deion Branch, Marcus Trufant, Deon Grant, Courtney Taylor, Seneca Wallace, Jordan Kent, Logan Payne.

Rookies: Aaron Curry and Deon Butler.

Former Seahawks and Other NFL: Leonard Weaver, Gibran Hamdan, Devard Darling, Jim Sorgi, Andrew Walter.

NBA: Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford and Kevin Burleson.

Media and Special Guests: Double R (KISW), Chris Egan (King5), Glenn Hall (Hawg Quest Fishing), Sea Gals, Blitz, Blue Thunder.

The proceeds will benefit the Bobby Engram Foundation and its fight to save Bobby’s daughter and the millions of others who suffer with Sickle Cell Disease.

The event takes place from 12-6pm on June 13th. Hopes are high that they will be able to sell out Cheney Stadium's 10,000 capacity so if you would like to attend, visit the website and get your ticket. It should be a great day and it's for a worthy cause.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Reed: "I need to work harder than the next guy"

Greg Johns from the Seattle P.I. recently wrote an excellent piece on Nick Reed, 7th round pick by the Seahawks in April's draft.

The former Duck recorded an incredible 25 sacks in his final two years at Oregon, yet still wasn't invited to the combine due to his lack of NFL size.

"I take it as motivation. I take it as whatever I want. I need to work harder than the next guy. I need to know the playbook better than the next guy. I need to know the other team better than the next guy. I understand that. It's never going to be easy for me, but that's how it's always been."
-Nick Reed

When I was doing research into Seattle's draft picks after the event, the one thing I noticed about Reed was that he plays the game in the right manner. He'll hit you with surprising force one minute, but he'll offer a hand to help you to your feet moments later.

Basically, he's the stereotypical Seattle Seahawk.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

2010 a vintage year for Defensive Tackles?

Wes Bunting from the National Football Post has published an interesting article breaking down the upcoming senior class of defensive tackles.

"On paper, the 2010 senior defensive tackle class looks to be the strongest position in next year’s draft. The reason: Three of the top defensive tackles in the nation last season opted to stay for their final year of eligibility and increase their draft stock rather than declare early."
-Wes Bunting

The top three listed are Terrence Cody (Alabama), Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska) and Geno Atkins (Georgia). The 2010 DT group could get a further boost if highly talented prospects like Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma) decide to declare.

Walter Cherepinsky ranks the prospects here.

This year, three defensive tackles went off the board in round one: B.J. Raji (Green Bay #9), Peria Jerry (Atlanta #24) and Evander Hood (Pittsburgh #32). The Seahawks own two first round picks in 2010 having traded for Denver's 1st rounder.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Sharing the dream

Aaron Curry wanted to give something back to the community. He was living his dream of making it into the NFL and the Butkus Award winner wanted to share the experience.

He invited 12 year old Bryson Merriweather to New York. Bryon, 12, is a patient at St. Jude's Children's Research Hopsital in Memphis and was in the early stages of chemotherapy for leukemia.

The NFL network followed Curry and Bryson on their journey, all the way until the Seahawks made the linebacker their first round pick in 2009. Whilst in New York they took in a private tour of the Empire State Building, before moving on to the ESPN Zone. Eventually it was time for draft day, with Curry and Bryson waiting patiently for the big call.

It's a great insight into Curry's character and his day at the draft in general - well worth a look. If you want even more insight into what the linebacker has been up to recently, don't forget to check out his Facebook page, with regular updates and photos - plus your chance to send messages to Seattle's recent addition.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

2008 class any indication as to Butler's potential impact?

Recently we've been discussing the potential impact Deon Butler could have as a rookie in Seattle. One reader got in touch and posted the number of receptions posted by 2nd and 3rd round rookies in 2008:

Eddie Royal* - 91
DeSean Jackson* - 63
Donnie Avery* - 54
Jordy Nelson* - 33
Harry Douglas** - 23
Devin Thomas* - 15
Early Doucet** - 14
Andre Caldwell** - 11
James Hardy* - 9
Limas Sweed* - 6
Mario Manningham** - 4
Malcolm Kelly* - 3
Jerome Simpson* - 1
Earl Bennett** - 0
Dexter Jackson* - 0

* Denotes 2nd round pick
** Denotes 3rd round pick

It probably needs to be pointed out that these were the first receivers taken off the board - none went in the first round in 2008.

Harry Douglas (Atlanta) was the most productive third round selection. He only caught 23 passes as a rookie. His first real impact didn't come until week 6 against the Bears when he caught 5 balls for 96 yards. He scored his only touchdown reception in week 12 against the Panthers.

Douglas did manage two further scores - an end around rush again against Carolina and also returned a punt 61 yards for a touchdown during the season.

None of the other third round receivers had much impact. That's probably to be expected though, Early Doucet was competing for time with Fitzgerald, Boldin and Breaston whilst Andre Caldwell was stuck on one of the worst passing offenses in the NFL (Cincinnati).

It may be wise to temper expectations of Butler if this evidence is anything to go by. He could still have a statistical line comparable or even better than Harry Douglas in Atlanta. However, it would be unfair to expect much more. His value as a potential kick returner and deep ball threat remains, but the learning curve associated with most rookie receivers will likely register with the former Nittany Lion.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Returning to the Deon Butler debate

Thank you to everyone that read and responded to the recent article on Deon Butler and the impact he might have as a rookie. There were a few contributions in particular that caught my eye.

Ethan kicked things off, "I'm not expecting him (Butler) to be an Eddie Royal or anything, but I'm hopeful that we'll see hints of his upside this next season and then see even further development in the future."

I would have to agree with this assessment. The sheer learning curve associated with young wide receivers makes an instant impact unlikely. It's not impossible, as both Royal and DeSean Jackson proved in 2008. However I think it would be unfair on the former Nittany Lion to expect anything like that in his first year in Seattle. I do expect Butler to have some kind of influence, even if it's just as a decoy on deep routes or a potential kick returner.

JRuss chipped in, "I was almost as excited to hear about Butler's great hands and crisp routes as I was about his speed and quickness. I've read that he plays bigger than he is and that certainly would be a great thing if it proved true."

The suggestion that Butler plays above his size and physical presence is one I would agree with. He's not the biggest (a generous 5'10" in height and slight frame) but he doesn't shirk from blocks and plays with a toughness you want to see from a young guy.

Seth H wondered if Butler could be used in some niche moves, "Greg Knapp isn't afraid of trick plays. Imagine something like an I formation with Seneca Wallace and Deon Butler as the receivers, Seneca Wallace gets the hand off on an end around, but it's really a pass play and Deon Butler hauls it in for a long TD pass."

No doubt the NFL became a home for trick plays in 2008, with the whole Dolphins wild cat craze. That shows no obvious signs of disappearing so maybe we will see some original ideas from Knapp in his play calling?

Steve S offered a different angle and is keeping his expectations in check, "I think we should be honest with ourselves and admit that, assuming normal luck with injuries, Butler's contribution will be approximately zero in 2009. I'd be perfectly content to see Butler inactive in '09 and making a contribution in '10. In fact, if we were to look into the future and see Butler playing many meaningful snaps in '09 it would more likely mean that the $100+ million vets are injured than that Butler is tearing it up."

This is a fair analysis. Realistically you would expect Houshamdzadeh, Branch and Burleson to get most attention in the passing game with John Carlson having a big say at tight end. Unless we see an injury crisis reminiscent of 2008, Butler might have to wait his turn. I do think his pure speed could see him find a way to get involved as a rookie though and he may still have some special teams value.

I'll leave the final comment to Melham, a Penn State grad, "As an alum who has watched every PSU game since 1996, let me say that Seattle is going to LOVE Deon Butler. Everyone knows about Derrick Williams but IMO Butler was the best receiver on the team and the best since Bobby Engram. He will exceed all expectations, guaranteed."

I like the sound of that.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Don't mess with Mike Teel

Mike Teel might be about to bring a certain 'fighting' quality to the Seahawks. The former Rutgers quarter back, taken in the 6th round this year, will be hoping to make an impression in camp as the Seahawks search for a potential long term replacement for Matt Hasselbeck. Teel has a long way to go in terms of becoming a potential NFL starter, but one things for certain - don't mess with him or you'll hear about it...

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Keeping up with Aaron Curry

Just in case you wondered what Aaron Curry was up to at the moment, he's on his way to L.A. Seattle's 2009 first round pick is jetting out for the rookie premiere and the first shots in his new Seahawks jersey (to be used on trading cards soon).

Don't forget to check out Curry's facebook page brought to you by Octagon football. It's well updated so you can keep up with the Seahawks' linebacker. You can also leave your own messages of support ahead of the 2009 season.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Prospects in review: Max Unger & Aaron Curry

John Morgan at Field Gulls is currently running a couple of great features, reviewing the play of recent Seahawks draftees Aaron Curry and Max Unger. The first piece looks at how Unger graded out in a game against Oklahoma State.

"Unger is built long and his musculature is decidedly working man's. He looks like a butcher or a blacksmith. He has good weight distribution and very good balance. Out of the blocks or one the move, Unger has great explosive power. He unloads and powers through his blocks showing good hip snap and hand placement. That allows him to get under and topple defenders."

Morgan then breaks down Aaron Curry's performance in a game between Wake Forest and Boston College. Spread over three articles (1, 2 ,3) it's a pretty fair review looking at the highs and lows of Curry's display.

"BC runs a zone read with Crane keeping it. Alphonso Smith strikes from the third level forcing an arcing fumble. Curry pushes Anderson aside and shows good body control and good hands to scoop the loose ball. Yet another reason to run away from Aaron Curry -- if only anyone could."

Overall Morgan's work is real draftnik's delight. It's the kind of thing I love to read when the off season is pretty quiet and not much is happening. Well worth checking out if you feel the same way.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Butler's rookie role under played?

A few eye brows were raised when Seattle made an aggressive trade with Philadelphia to grab Deon Butler. The price was downplayed by the Seahawks front office, but it did involve coughing up a valuable third round pick in 2010 alongside 5th & 7th round picks this year. Clearly the team felt comfortable not only with the bounty they'd picked up for next year (getting Denver's first rounder) but also the potential Butler has to help the team immediately as a rookie.

Wide receiver is a notoriously difficult position to master in your first year. There are a few exceptions, most notably Eddie Royal and DeSean Jackson who both had excellent introductions into the NFL. Usually however, there's some teething problems and Butler will be no different as he adjusts to the pro-game. But he can help the team right away, he absolutely can.

During his years in Atlanta and Oakland, Greg Knapp showed a tendency to go down field more often than Mike Holmgren did in Seattle. The quarter backs available may have had some influence, Matt Hasselbeck doesn't own the kind of rocket arm associated with Michael Vick or JaMarcus Russell.

However, too often in 2008 teams simply didn't fear Seattle's passing game - helping opposition defenses to stack the box, blitz freely and shut down the running game. Butler's raw speed (clocking 4.38 at the combine) will if anything help keep the offense honest. His ability to get deep and stretch the field is something the Seahawks didn't have with current starters T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Deion Branch and Nate Burleson. For the passing game to receive greater attention, having that outside threat could generate a much more balanced Seattle offense in 2009.

But it's not just the threat of Butler that could cause a surprisingly good rookie season. Butler explodes in and out of his breaks and shows a real ability to get open. There's a reason he broke Bobby Engram's Penn State receptions record (179 catches, 2771 yards, 22 TD's). He flashes the ability to make great catches but shows occasional inconsistency, yet nothing out of the ordinary for a young receiver. For a relatively small man (5'10") he's combative in his blocks and shows the desire you want to see from a wideout coming into the league.

You're not going to see a 1000 yard season from Butler, but his presence will be felt in 2009. His signing was as much 'win-now' as Seattle's choice of Max Unger in round two and he'll have a role to play in Seattle's attempt to bounce back in the new Jim Mora era. It wouldn't surprise me if other more productive players on the Seahawks roster are praising Butler by the end of the year for his overall contribution, even if he'll have to wait until later in his career to follow in the footsteps of former Nittany Lions' like Engram.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Curry's emotional journey complete

During the draft process Rob Rang has been following Aaron Curry on his journey into the NFL. Today he concludes his superb four part series with the Seahawks' latest first round pick. It was an emotional ride for the former Wake Forest linebacker and he discusses his rapid introduction into the pro's when he was thrust amongst the veteran starters in mini-camp.

"The league provided a cell phone this year for each of the 10 invited players. Placed on the tables in which the players and their families were assigned, they had numbers which had been circulated to all of the teams. Unlike the player's cell phones, which could go off at any moment with a call from anyone, these would only ring if called by NFL teams. Players knew that when their "special phone" rang, it was a call they didn't want to miss.

That moment came shortly after the Chiefs took Jackson, when Curry's special phone rang. The voice he heard was Mora's, and Curry's eyes welled with tears." - Rob Rang, CBS Sportsline

I'd strongly recommend checking out the previous entries in this draft diary. The three other articles can be found here 1, 2, 3. It's great work again from Rob Rang and truly shows how lucky the Seahawks are to have a man like Aaron Curry joining their franchise.

Friday, 8 May 2009

USC & the class of 2009

Nobody can deny the success USC has had at regularly producing NFL calibre talent. Raj Nair recently reported from the team's spring training and asks the question - who is the next Trojan superstar? He speaks to Taylor Mays, Stafon Johnson and Shareece Wright to get their opinions, before Pete Carroll chips in. The name to watch could well be Taylor Mays. It's clear Carroll rates the Seattle born safety and he's already being talked about as a potential top ten pick in the 2010 draft. Another guy I'm looking forward to watching closely is running back Joe McKnight. Previously considered a 5-star recruit, McKnight has never really had the production to match the talent. He'll be hoping for a break out season at USC in 2009.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Bucky Brooks' top senior prospects

Bucky Brooks at has listed the top senior prospects to keep an eye on in 2009 ahead of next year's draft. Tim Ruskell favors four year starters and guys who stay in school over underclassmen and with Seattle owning two first round picks in 2010 - there may be some future Seahawks amongst this group.

On paper it certainly looks a stronger senior class. Brooks has Brandon Spikes, Greg Hardy and George Selvie outside of his top ten which is some indication of the depth. There's one noticeable absentee - probably the most high profile senior of the lot. Tim Tebow anyone? He's not in this top 16 and this is likely a debate we'll be hearing a lot all the way through to next year's event.

Walter Cherepinsky's two round 2010 mock

Walter Cherepinsky has pushed the boundaries further than anyone for premature draft talk - by publishing a two round 2010 mock draft. The amount of detail that has to go into this is unfathomable - for starters you have to predict each team's record for the 2009 campaign. A year ago today, how many people thought Miami would go 11-5 after a 1-15 season?

Apart from that, you're also guessing which college prospects will have the kind of season to define their stock at the end of the year. Prior to his senior campaign, Aaron Curry received a 3rd round grading but eventually went in the top five. Jason Smith (2nd overall) was regarded as a late 1st round prospect and Mark Sanchez was approaching his first season as USC's starting quarterback.

Still, it's fun to look at these very early projections if only for a watching brief for the 2009 college season. Cherepinsky has the Seahawks taking Eric Berry (S, Tennessee) and Jonathan Dwyer (RB, Georgia Tech) in round one, with Charles Brown (OT, USC) chosen in the second.

Seahawks recovery? Its a healthy discussion

I recently wrote this article for the Bleacher Report discussing Seattle's prospects for 2009.

"Tim Ruskell and the front office have spent most of the off season looking to paper over the cracks. Big name free agents have arrived in the form of T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Ken Lucas, whilst the team invested a top five draft pick in a guy some ranked as the best in the entire class - Aaron Curry. The additions have certainly boosted a roster that needed fresh blood, but the key to a Seahawks revival remains elsewhere...

They need to stay healthy. It's as simple as that."

Feel free to check it out.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Chris Steuber, he of the aesthetically pleasing graphics and presentation, has put together a nice piece for discussing which rookies are most likely to fit certain criteria. Two Seahawks are mentioned, both with interesting consequences. As you can see from the image above, Steuber thinks Aaron Curry is the guy most likely to be named 'defensive rookie of the year'. For my take on Curry's chances of winning the award click here.

"Since 2000, the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award has gone to a linebacker eight times; a linebacker has currently won the award six years in a row. The only year that it went to another position was in 2002 when Carolina Panthers DE Julius Peppers won the award. Another linebacker will receive the award this year, and it should be a consensus pick, Seattle Seahawks first round pick Aaron Curry. He was my No. 1 prospect entering the 2009 NFL Draft and he will emerge as the top defensive rookie this year." - Chris Steuber

But perhaps even more interesting is who Steuber thinks will be 'rookie most likely to be a steal in five years'. Mike Teel, quarterback taken in the 6th round by Seattle, is given the title. Steuber argues that the former Rutgers signal caller has the skills, it's just a question of consistency. If he can find the right system and become a more reliable force - he could be the potential heir apparent to Matt Hasselbeck in Seattle.

"Since 1998, there have been four quarterbacks selected in the sixth round that have gone on to be Pro Bowl players: Matt Hasselbeck, Marc Bulger, Tom Brady and Derek Anderson. I'm not going to compare Teel with any of the quarterbacks mentioned, but if he develops and can become a more consistent thrower, he has a chance to be a quality starter in the league." - Chris Steuber

Let me know what you think. What does Aaron Curry have to do to win rookie of the year? Can Mike Teel become the team's starting quarter back one day? Have your say by clicking the comments section below or email

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Aaron Curry's week at the draft

Don't forget to check out Aaron Curry's official facebook page to keep up with Seattle's latest first round pick. Aaron recently published some behind the scenes photos from his week at the draft and had a message for Seahawks fans:

"I heard the fans were loud....I can't wait to hear you at our first game 12th man!!!!!! I feed off the energy. I can't wait to get started this weekend at mini camp. I can't believe all the support I've gotten so far. I hope to make the fans, my teammates and the organization proud. Seattle- YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!" - Aaron Curry

More premature 2010 draft talk

The ever increasing popularity of the NFL draft has once again been confirmed by the continued premature analysis of next year's event. With the 2009 draft a mere 9 days in the past, already attentions are being turned to the class of '10. Fairly soon we'll be dissecting Sam Bradford's technique, taking a look at what projects to be a vintage year for defensive line talent and asking - Berry or Mays? It's often said that there's no off season in the NFL, I'm beginning to think the draft is becoming a year long topic of discussion too.

Matt McGuire publishes a very early mock draft. Interestingly, he has Arrelious Benn (WR, Illinois) going first overall. The Seahawks pick at #7 and #20, taking Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma) and Major Wright (S, Florida).

Chris Steuber also takes a look at 2010. Steuber's mocks are always the most aesthetically pleasing. Seattle pick a #6 and #8 here, selecting Colt McCoy (QB, Texas) and Eric Berry (S, Tennessee). I'm not sure when all is said and done that McCoy goes this high, but I'm really looking forward to watching Berry this year - he's my kind of safety.

NFL Draft Prophecies publish an early prediction although I think Jevon Snead (QB, Ole Miss) and not Sam Bradford will end up being the quarter back to keep an eye on. The Seahawks take Seattle born Taylor Mays (S, USC) and Russel Okung (OT, Oklahoma State).

Monday, 4 May 2009

Rookie of the year achievable for Curry

Aside from helping his new team return to the playoffs one personal goal should be amongst Aaron Curry's ambitions in 2009 - become defensive rookie of the year. I'm sure if you asked the humble linebacker he'd talk about simply doing his utmost to help his teammates and that personal achievements come a close second. Last year's winner Jerod Mayo would have done the same thing, but nobody will deny that by registering 128 total tackles he did as much as anyone to help the Patriots to an 11-5 record.

The mere fact that Curry is a linebacker puts him amongst the front runners to scoop the award. The last six defensive rookies of the year were all linebackers, previous winners include the 49ers Patrick Willis and San Diego's Shawne Merriman. Willis needed 174 tackles and four sacks to win it, Merriman only picked up 57 tackles but added a further ten sacks. Improving upon Julian Peterson's final season with the Seahawks (86 tackles, 5 sacks) could be enough.

So what will help or hinder Curry? Playing alongside Leroy Hill and Lofa Tatupu could do both. On one hand, there's only so many plays to go round and Curry's production may take a slight hit playing as part of a talented trio. You could also argue, the attention presented to Tatupu and Hill will stop teams game planning Curry too much - leaving a perfect platform to wreak havoc. The Seahawks enjoyed a solid 2007 season, here's the stat sheet for the starting linebackers:

Julian Peterson - 74 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 2 interceptions
Lofa Tatupu - 109 tackles, 1 sack, 4 interceptions
Leroy Hill - 81 tackles, 3 sacks

Ok, so the scope isn't there for an insane Patrick Willis type season with over 150 tackles. But there's plenty to go around. Curry's speed and burst off the line could take some unsuspecting teams by surprise and his ability to take on tight ends and full backs could cause plenty of problems. The decision isn't all about numbers either, Curry's ability to be an effective force will draw attention from the judging panel.

Nothing is ever decided in May, but who are the other early contenders? Larry English may force his way to starting status at OLB in San Diego and could be worth an outside bet. Robert Ayers is likely to be used creatively by the Broncos and was considered in some quarters to be the best defensive end in the 2009 draft. If New Orleans' superb offense forces teams to gun sling, a ball hawk like Malcolm Jenkins may register enough picks to warrant consideration.

Curry has the raw talent and plays in a suitable scheme with a great home field advantage. The platform is there for a challenge at the top rookie title. If the Seahawks can get healthy and productive in the trenches (the return of Patrick Kerney presenting a real boost) then the extra space afforded to guys like Curry could be crucial. Not just in terms of winning personal awards, but also helping the team to hit back in 2009.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Rookie progress report

Now that the 2009 NFL draft has been and gone, we'll be keeping a close eye on the Seahawks' rookies and monitoring their progress during the off season. That doesn't just mean Aaron Curry, Max Unger and Deon Butler either - we're looking out for the Michael Bennett's and Devin Moore's who will be hoping to make the team. Mini camp has been taking place this weekend and here's what those present had to say...

Mike Sando watched Aaron Curry closely and was impressed with what he saw. "With his size and speed, Curry is also showing signs he'll make life easier for Tatupu. Curry took on the tight end and fullback on the same play Saturday, freeing Tatupu to make the play. Seattle hasn't had a linebacker with Curry's size-speed-strength potential since ... when?"

Dave Boling thinks Max Unger looks like 'a natural guard'. Starting Unger at guard will allow the team to give Chris Spencer one last chance to prove himself in a contract year and it also allows the former Oregon Duck a chance to learn his trade. Boling was also impressed by Devin Moore's speed despite a lack of size.

Greg Johns says Deon Butler has left a good initial impression. "In one-on-one drills against cornerbacks, Butler juked Josh Wilson on one play and then used his speed to blow past him and make the catch, then came back on his next series with a beautiful diving catch against Kevin Hobbs."

Clare Farnsworth was also impressed with Butler's smarts. "The graduate of Penn State didn’t get the CliffsNotes version of the Seahawks’ playbook until Tuesday, and wasn’t handed the War and Peace edition until he showed up at the team’s headquarters on Friday morning. But that didn’t stop Butler from impressing offensive coordinator Greg Knapp during the classroom session that preceded the first practice."

Chuck Stark shines some attention on undrafted rookie Tony Fein. "The physical specimen with the big tattooed arms which look like bazookas didn't get as many repetitions, but for Fein, it hardly mattered. For the one-time South Kitsap quarterback, this was his Disneyland. There was no other place on earth he'd rather be."

Eric Williams provides an interview with Butler, talking about his first few days as a Seahawk.

The definitive Deon Butler review made this neat review of wide receiver Deon Butler before the NFL Draft. The former Penn State record breaker was taken by the Seahawks in round three and offers much needed speed to the receiving corps.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

The definitive Curry compilation

As mini-camp's get under way all across the NFL, here's what to expect from Seattle's latest first round pick. Enjoy the highlights - we'll be seeing a lot more of this at Qwest Field soon. The awful intro music ends after 1:24.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Matt McGuire's 2010 big board

Matt McGuire today looks ahead to the 2010 draft by naming his early big board. It's still very premature to discuss next year's event but there's no harm in taking a quick look, especially with Seattle owning two first round picks.

"The 2010 NFL Draft has the potential to be the most talented draft in the past 15 years. It is simply on an elite level, comparable to 2004, but possibly with more depth. Just listing my top 25 players for next season doesn't do next year's projection justice. There could be 45-50 players with first-round grades come next April."

Looking at the names on his list and the various other 2010 mock drafts we've seen this week, it's hard to argue that the draft has a lot of potential. Like McGuire though, I firmly believe the main value could come on the defensive side of the ball.

"Next year's class looks strong at both linebacker and defensive line. I am not impressed with the current quarterback or running back talent. Watch out for Sam Bradford's game to get picked apart next season."

Of course a lot can change over the course of a college football season. This time last year, nobody was talking about Jason Smith, Aaron Curry, Mark Sanchez and Tyson Jackson as top five picks. Lists like McGuire's are fun to look at and can be used as a 'watch list'. However, expect a few changes by the time we're looking at the 2010 draft in greater depth.

Kyle Rota on Aaron Curry

Kyle Rota from College Talent Scout gives his opinion on the newest additions to the Seahawks roster exclusively for Seahawks Draft Blog. Today we start with first round draft pick Aaron Curry.

"Curry does not look as thick on film as he did at the combine, but that's not too surprising. He still has a very good build for a 4-3 OLB, especially in Seattle's scheme and he has the natural athleticism to go with it. He's probably at his body's peak weight, but nothing wrong with that - you don't need or want him any bigger. What's really interesting is you don't see guys with his size at linebacker in Seattle, so his style of play is different from what we're used to.

"He's very good at beating the TE on run plays, uses his hands and strength well. He's also very good at getting through trash when working inside, has good balance and doesn't get knocked off his blocks. As a blitzer, he looked very good and I think he could contribute in this area. Unfortunately, he isn't perfect either. He was mediocre in zone coverage (barely saw him in man, I've heard he's good in man) and while he backpedals quickly, he doesn't have a good feel for it. He's a pretty good tackler but sometimes goes high when he should go low - strong enough to usually get the job done though.

"What bothers me the most is he doesn't appear to be a real read/react or instinctive guy. Whilst everything I've heard suggests he is very smart and a great person, on the field he doesn't show great intelligence or instincts. He bites too often on play action and seems both slow and sometimes incorrect on reads. He's a good player and with his work ethic and intelligence it isn't like his flaws are unfixable. But they're there. In some ways he reminds me of Jason Smith at a less crucial position. Both have impressive natural skills and are high character/intellect guys. But both should have a better understanding of their position, at least to be top prospects. I'm not sure either is a must-have guy in a better class. But they're the best at their position in this class and it's easy to look at the film and see why they could be successful."

- Kyle Rota, College Talent Scout