On Thursday, Ian and Puckett spent most of the show talking about the state of the Seattle Mariners and how apathetic the fan base has become.
It was a wide ranging discussion, and it surprised everyone when, based on the number of calls receieved, that it wasn't so much apathy, but overall frustration on how the organization has operated for many, many years.
Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
We continue this year's series with Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams, the JUCO transfer from Australia who made a real name for himself in Nick Saban's defense in 2012. Williams grew up playing basketball and rugby in Brisbane, and coaches from the University of Hawaii discovered him there when he was 16. Since his academics were incomplete, Williams enrolled at Western Arizona Community College, amassing 76 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and six sacks in 18 games over two seasons. Saban came calling before the 2011 season, and Williams chose the Crimson Tide over a host of other high-profile schools. He started 13 games that first season as a five-tech end in Alabama's multiple fronts, moving inside on passing downs.
In 2012, Saban moved the 6-foot-4, 323-pound Williams inside to nose tackle, but he also played a lot of three-tech. It was inside on a regular basis where Williams was able to truly display his impressive combination of speed, agility, leverage, and freakish strength. He had 17 solo tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks in two seasons with Alabama, but those stats don't tell the whole story with Williams -- you really have to look at the tape and project another level of future development to get the picture.
Williams skipped the speed and agility drills at the scouting combine due to a knee issue, but ran a 4.92 40 at Alabama's pro day. He proved to be agile in the short shuttle and three-cone drill, rounding out all the signs of his athletic potential. We've seen many underdeveloped athletic freaks come into the NFL in recent years, especially on the defensive line, and between Williams, Ezekiel Ansah, and Margus Hunt, this is a banner year for them. But Williams may be the easiest of this year's crop to project to the next level because his raw skills are easily superimposed onto potential football greatness.
Pros: Benches 600 pounds in the weight room and that upper-body strength transfers to the field. Incredible leverage player who frequently takes on double teams as a nose shade defensive tackle, or straight over center, and rarely gets stood up or rocked back. Will push back blockers who outweigh him by 20 and 30 pounds, and will occasionally throw a blocker out of the way. Comes off the snap low and angry and loves to mix it up. Disengages from blocks quickly and gets on the move to tackle ballcarriers. Gums up gaps of one and two blockers, allowing others to flow through and make plays. Equally effective as a three-tech tackle shading outside the guard, especially on run plays.
Aggressive form tackler who wraps up when he can, but has the pure strength for the occasional one-handed takedown. Has an impressive forward burst to the quarterback when he hits the pocket, and gets up to top speed quickly when looping around a gap. Hand techniques are still nebulous, but he'll hit a swim move once in a while and just blow up a double team -- just blast right through it. Has the speed and awareness to chase down mobile quarterbacks in the open field. Tireless player who gives maximum effort -- will peel off blocks and go chasing backs 10 yards and more downfield. Zeroes in on ballcarriers in space and has the awareness to avoid a lot of missed tackles -- especially impressive for his size/speed combination. Is not overly reliant on linemates to do what he needs to do.
Cons: Needs more development with his hand movement -- tends to go with a straight bull rush, which is effective, but he loses traction when he gets his hands outside the shoulder pads. And when he comes off the ball too high, he doesn't have the technique to make up for the resulting loss in leverage. Would be devastating with evolved rip and swim moves. Could use more lateral strength, as he tends to get walled off to the side by bigger players. Not specifically big and wide enough to kill run plays on goal-line stands -- needs to function in a more versatile and agile front if he's to play a lot of nose tackle.
Doesn't yet have a highly-developed sense of keys -- tends to wrestle too much at times and will miss tackle opportunities. Loses a lot of power when he hits the line at an angle. Played end in 2011, but was far more a traditional 3-4 end than any sort of pass rusher. Gets to the pocket with power, not speed, and doesn't really dip around the tackle.
Conclusion: It would be pretty nuts to compare Williams, who is still an unfinished player, to San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith, who's played at an NFL MVP level over the last two years, and an extremely high level before that. But I see a lot of Smith elements in Williams' embryonic game (minus the pass rush ability), and over time, he might live up to that. While he'll never be mistaken for an elite quarterback disruptor in the Warren Sapp or Ndamukong Suh mold, he's far more than just a bowling ball capable of soaking up blocks between the guards. It's easier to picture him as the ideal multi-gap player in today's NFL fronts, and Alabama was a perfect training ground.
Williams has the rare ability to make consistent plays anywhere on the line, against most blocking schemes, and without a considerable drop-off wherever he lines up. In that regard, he does make me think of Smith, who evolved over time into the kind of player who could garner high Pro Bowl votes at both end and tackle in the same season. Williams is 50 pounds heavier, which makes his explosiveness all the more impressive, and puts me in mind of another Pro Bowl tackle -- the great Haloti Ngata. You put Jesse Williams in the right system, with great NFL coaching, and you'll have a nuclear-level beast on your hands sooner than later.
NFL Comparison: Haloti Ngata, Baltimore Ravens
By Sports Radio KJR
The NFL draft is fast approaching and despite the Seahawks not having a first round pick, there should be plenty of intrigue for the team come Friday and the weekend.
To help break down the draft, Bucky Brooks from the NFL Network and NFL.com joined Ian Furness and Jason Puckett to talk about what the Seahawks and other team will potentially do.
Seattle’s first draft pick is number-56 in the second round and Brooks feels that many able bodies on the defensive line will be available when the Seahawks select. One interesting name to tuck away is Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short, who stands 6’3 and weighs 299 pounds.
“Outstanding interior defensive lineman. He’s quick. He’s aggressive. But, the biggest thing is that you don’t see the motor running all the time. But, his flashes are outstanding.”
“Kawann Short would be an outstanding addition to that defense,” said Brooks.
Short isn’t the only lineman that Brooks pointed out to Ian and Puck, he also mentioned Brandon Williams from Missouri Southern State, who is slightly shorter than Short, but weighs more at 6’1 335.
However, Brooks was quick to point out that despite signing Antoine Winfield, the Seahawks shouldn’t’ sleep on drafting another defensive back that can play the nickel.
“They (Schneider/Carroll) are going to be committed to taking the best player available.”
When pressed more on what defensive back would be a good fit for Seattle and what would be a “surprise type player” for him. Brooks didn’t hesitate to name LSU corner back Tyrann Mathieu.
“Tyrann Mathieu will not get out of day two. Too many people I’ve talked to who absolutely love him. People he’s the best nickel corner in the draft,” Brooks said.
And, the best part about Mathieu is that not only is he a great corner, but he’s an unbelievable return man – something Seattle is missing in the punt return game.
“People who make plays with their hands on the ball at every level: high school and college – continue to make them in the pros.” Tyrann Mathieu is a special player,” said Brooks.
Brooks wrapped up his comments on Mathieu by comparing him to Charles Woodson…which would be a great player to be compared to.
Brooks also touched on some of the other top teams in the NFC, San Francisco and Atlanta.
Here’s what he said about the 49ers: Losing Dashon Goldson hurts them and they need to find a replacement. In addition, they need to draft help for defensive lineman Justin Smith.
For the Falcons: Their “inability to rush the passer” needs to be addressed. “They need to get a dominant pass rusher.”
Brooks mentioned that they, “only have one starting cornerback” and he talked about former Husky Desmond Trufant being a possibility at number-30, if Trufant is still available.