Germain Ifedi

OL Notes: Seahawks, Joeckel, Eagles, Paradis

As teams get set for the start of offseason workouts, they are assembling their pre-draft offensive line depth charts. One such team with some fluidity: the Seahawks. They plan to make a move that ended up backfiring on the Jaguars in stationing Luke Joeckel at left tackle. While Pete Carroll acknowledges Joeckel could end up at left guard, the recently added blocker will begin his Seahawks tenure as a left tackle.

Luke is a guy who started at left tackle, was drafted at left tackle. I’m thinking of him as that, knowing he can play left guard,” Carroll said, via Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com. “He had a really good experience this year moving in, and he liked it and felt comfortable doing that. So my first thought is we head into it with he’s coming into it as a left tackle that can play left guard.”

Jacksonville shuttled Joeckel from left tackle to left guard before the 2016 season, but an injury limited him to only four games. The former No. 2 overall pick did not fare especially well at left tackle as a full-time starter from 2014-15; he began his Jags run as a right tackle while a rookie. The Seahawks signed Joeckel to a one-year deal for a fully guaranteed $7MM in an attempt to help what’s been a maligned offensive line over the past two seasons. Carroll plans, for now, to sit converted basketball player George Fant behind Joeckel. Fant started 10 games for the NFC West champions last season.

If George had to sit for a while, what could be better for him than sitting behind a guy who was a [No. 2] pick in the draft and knows how to play the position?” Carroll said. “If that happens, it would only enhance his future, and we have high expectations for him down the road — high expectations.”

Here’s more out of Seattle and the latest from other offensive fronts.

  • The Seahawks’ most recent first-round pick, Germain Ifedi, is expected to receive a long look at right tackle, per Kapadia. Ifedi started 13 games at right guard last season, but a chain reaction might relocate him. Should Joeckel move to left guard, 2016 left guard starter Mark Glowinski would shift to the right side and possibly bump Ifedi to right tackle. Ifedi primarily played right tackle at tackle-rich Texas A&M but slid inside during his debut NFL season. Seattle, of course, is no stranger to moving its linemen. Former second-round pick Justin Britt shifted from tackle to guard to center during his first three seasons in the league.
  • Isaac Seumalo started four games — at three different positions — for the Eagles last season, and it looks like Doug Pederson is eyeing more time for the second-year blocker. “He’s a guy that we want to get into the mix,” Pederson said, via Zach Berman of Philly.com. Berman adds Seumalo could wind up at center or guard long-term. The Eagles, though, are keeping left guard Allen Barbre and center Jason Kelce after being rumored to be set to unload both. Philadelphia also brought back center/guard Stefen Wisniewski, complicating Seumalo’s immediate path to playing time.
  • Matt Paradis underwent offseason surgery on both of his hips and has an uncertain timetable back to his spot on the Broncos‘ starting offensive front. The fourth-year center shed his crutches last month and is expected back. But Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post notes the hope now is Paradis won’t miss any regular-season action, meaning Paradis might not be a lock for training camp. The former sixth-round pick enjoyed a breakout season in 2016, finishing as Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 center and doing so on one of the league’s shakiest offensive lines. He’s played every Broncos snap over the past two seasons.

West Notes: Broncos, Raiders, Chiefs, Hawks

The Broncos want to bring in a third quarterback, but that player is likely to be either a young veteran or a draft pick, head coach Vance Joseph tells Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter links). Denver is apparently content to allow Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch battle it out for the starting QB job, meaning any new addition would be a third-stringer. Tony Romo, meanwhile, is looking like less of an option, as the Broncos are reportedly backing off their pursuit of the Cowboys signal-caller.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • After losing defensive tackle Stacy McGee in free agency, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie admits his team may bring in another piece up front, as Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Currently, Oakland boasts Khalil Mack, Jihad Ward, Dan Williams, Mario Edwards, restricted free agent Denico Autry, and others along the defensive line. Johnathan Hankins, Jared Odrick, and Vance Walker rank as PFR’s best remaining interior defenders.
  • The Chiefs‘ decision to decline their option on backup quarterback Nick Foles was purely cap-related, head coach Andy Reid tells Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. Foles’ 2017 option was worth $6.75MM, an untenable figure for the Chiefs given that even now they only have $3MM in cap space. While Foles has since signed a two-year, $11MM with the Eagles, Kansas City currently has Tyler Bray behind starting quarterback Alex Smith.
  • Although Seahawks corner Pierre Desir had an opportunity to sign with the Lions last season, he opted to stick on Seattle’s practice squad and has since been re-signed on a futures deal, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (all Twitter links). Seahawks general manager John Schneider pointed to Desir, Neiko Thorpe, and Tampa Bay import Bradley McDougald as key depth pieces that can fill out the secondary.
  • Free agent signee Oday Aboushi will begin his Seahawks tenure at right guard, which means Seattle is set to try 2016 first-round pick Germain Ifedii at right tackle, tweets Condotta. Ifedi played tackle at Texas A&M, but shifted to right guard during his rookie campaign. The results were near disastrous, as Ifedi graded as the single worst guard in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.

Seahawks Rookie Germain Ifedi Suffers Injury

Seahawks first-round pick Germain Ifedi suffered a high-ankle sprain in practice yesterday, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The injury will sideline the offensive lineman for a few weeks. Germain Ifedi

Ifedi was slated to start for Seattle at guard and the team’s confidence in his ability to play right away surely played a factor in their decision to cut former Pro Bowl guard Jahri Evans this offseason. With Bradley Sowell, Mark Glowinski, Justin Britt, and Garry Gilliam taking up the other starting spots on the O-Line, the Seahawks will probably have to turn to third-round rookie Rees Odhiambo to fill in for Ifedi.

Ifedi was selected with the 31st overall pick after the Seahawks traded down from No. 26. Because the Patriots didn’t have a first-round pick this year, the former Texas A&M lineman represented the final pick of the 31-player first round. The Seahawks are planning to start Ifedi on the interior line for now before eventually moving him to tackle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Eagles, 49ers, Giants, Seahawks

The Eagles have been shopping defensive lineman Taylor Hart around the NFL, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Hart doesn’t have an overly appealing track record in the league, however. The 2014 fifth-round pick from Oregon was on the Eagles’ 53-man roster throughout his rookie year, but he failed to log any appearances. In 14 games last season, the 6-foot-6, 281-pounder partook in 27 percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps and made 27 tackles.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • When asked to characterize his association with Trent Baalke, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he and the GM have a “business relationship” (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle). Further, in response to Baalke’s comment last week that he and Kaepernick broke their months-long silence with a” good conversation,” the signal-caller simply referred to it as a “conversation.”
  • Giants owner John Mara the Josh Brown situation on Wednesday and said the club was in fact aware of both the domestic allegations against the kicker and his arrest (via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com). Nothing has happened since to change the Giants’ opinion on re-signing him in April.
  • Because the Seahawks made such a minimal investment in Jahri Evans (one year, minimum salary benefit with $80K guaranteed), it’s uncertain if the veteran guard is a lock for the club’s final roster. As Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes, Seattle is pleased with the play of left guard Mark Glowinski and first-round right guard Germain Ifedi, so a starting spot for Evans might not be available.
  • As of now, the Saints and contract-year quarterback still aren’t progressing toward an extension.

Connor Byrne contributed to this post.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, 49ers, Davis

Jahri Evans‘ contract suggests he’ll have to compete for a spot with the Seahawks, Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com writes. With just $80K guaranteed on his ~$1MM deal, it’s a low-risk move for Seattle and they know that they can press the escape button with minimal consequences if he does not resume his old form. If Evans does look strong in practice, then he could possibly earn a starting job and bump rookie Germain Ifedi from right guard to right tackle. If he doesn’t provide much of an upgrade, then he won’t be on the 53-man roster.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Carroll, Cardinals

Those who are criticizing the Seahawks‘ first-round selection of Germain Ifedi will come to regret it, offensive line coach Tom Cable told ESPN Radio (link via Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com).

You watch him and see what you think then,” Cable said. “People don’t have to be accountable, they can say or think what they want, and that’s OK. But what they really don’t realize is how they could screw up a young person, because all these kids read all the Twitter and social media. One minute they’re loved and the next minute they can’t do this or they can’t do that, it was a bad pick, or whatever. Fortunately … Germain is a strong-minded, strong-willed kid. … So I just think watching him play, it will be kind of cool, whoever they are, they’ll kind of eat their words.”

Here’s a look at the NFC West:

OL Rumors: Tunsil, Decker, Seahawks

Despite being selected at No. 13 overall, Laremy Tunsil is slotted at a foreign position to him. The Dolphins are currently planning to station the Ole Miss left tackle at left guard, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

A three-year starter with the Rebels exclusively at left tackle, Tunsil told media (including Jackson) he has never played guard but expressed willingness to line up anywhere on the Fins’ front. Branden Albert and Ja’Wuan James remain as the Dolphins’ tackles, leaving Tunsil to join Billy Turner on Miami’s first unit at guard. With Albert, James and Mike Pouncey in the fold, guard has been a troublesome spot for the Dolphins recently.

Pro Football Focus graded the Dolphins as the league’s No. 31 line, ahead of only the injury-ravaged Chargers, with former starting guard Dallas Thomas receiving the site’s worst marks among its starters. PFF graded Miami as the league’s worst run-blocking line last season.

Here’s more on Tunsil and the latest from the respective offensive fronts around the league.

  • New offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen categorized Tunsil as the best lineman in the draft and was stunned he fell to Miami’s draft slot. “The further he dropped, I started feeling myself get a little knot in my stomach. I’m going, ‘Ah, don’t get your hopes up. You know better than to do that. There’s five places to go,'” Christensen told media, including Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “And even when it was one spot away, I was going, ‘Somebody is trading up. Do not let yourself get your hopes up. You’ve done this before. It’s no fun. You’ll be disappointed.’ When it did happen, I couldn’t believe it did happen.”
  • Although some expected the Lions to place Taylor Decker at right tackle considering 2012 first-rounder Riley Reiff has started on the left side for the past three seasons, the Ohio State blocker will begin his Detroit tenure at left tackle, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Jim Caldwell did not specify the team’s plans for its first-rounder, but Decker lined up at that position during Saturday’s minicamp workout. Decker started 28 games at left tackle for the Buckeyes during the 2014-15 seasons but played right tackle as a sophomore. Birkett writes that Reiff’s future in Detroit could be tied to Decker’s ability to handle left tackle. Set to play this season on his fifth-year option, Reiff will be a free agent in 2017. Beyond Reiff, the Lions employ Michael Ola and 2015 seventh-rounder Corey Robinson. However, the team signed Geoff Schwartz to a modest accord in the offseason, and although he’s coming off two injury-prone seasons with the Giants, Schwartz has been a quality player at guard and right tackle when healthy. He may make the most sense to play right tackle if Detroit deems Decker its left tackle.
  • The Seahawks are planning to slide Justin Britt from guard to center, Tom Cable told media — including Liz Mathews of 710 ESPN (Twitter link). Primarily a left tackle in college at Missouri, Britt will have now moved from right tackle to guard to center in his three seasons in the league if this transition sticks. Britt rated as PFF’s seventh-worst full-time guard last season.
  • Seattle’s staff plans to begin Germain Ifedi‘s career at right guard, with the Texas A&M tackle’s next spot potentially being right tackle, according to an Associated Press report. The Raiders’ starting right guard for all 16 games last season, J’Marcus Webb is expected to return to tackle, where he began his NFL career with the Bears.

Seahawks, Germain Ifedi Agree To Terms

The Seahawks have reached agreements with two more draft picks, most notably striking a deal with first-round offensive lineman Germain Ifedi, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Caplan also reports that the team has agreed to terms with third-round tight end Nick Vannett.Germain Ifedi

Seattle locked up a pair of Day 2 picks earlier this week, agreeing to deals with second-round defensive tackle Jarran Reed and third-round offensive lineman Rees Odhiambo. After securing those four players, the Seahawks still have to sign six more players from this year’s 10-man draft class, but none of those contracts should be particularly difficult to negotiate.

Ifedi, who was selected with the 31st overall pick after the Seahawks traded down from No. 26, figures to compete for a spot on Seattle’s offensive line immediately, either at guard or right tackle. Because the Patriots didn’t have a first-round pick this year, the former Texas A&M tackle represented the final pick of the 31-player first round, and will therefore be the last 2016 draftee eligible for a fifth-year option on his rookie contract.

According to Over the Cap’s data, Ifedi’s four-year rookie deal should be worth about $8.265MM, with a $4.211MM signing bonus. The value of his fifth-year option for 2020 won’t be determined until 2019, when the Seahawks will have to make a decision on whether to exercise or decline it.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pauline’s Latest: OTs, Steelers, Packers, Bucs

League insiders believe that as many as six offensive tackles could be selected in the first round of tonight’s draft, according to Tony Pauline of WalterFootball.com. Laremy Tunsil, Ronnie Stanley, Jack Conklin, and Taylor Decker are the obvious names, but Jason Spriggs, Le’Raven Clark, and Germain Ifedi are also candidates to go off the board tonight. The clubs that have put the most research into offensive tackles, per Pauline? The Colts, Packers, Seahawks, Broncos, Panthers, and Steelers.

Let’s check out the latest draft rumors, all courtesy of Pauline:

  • Among the teams hoping to trade down tonight are the Falcons, Colts, Vikings, and Jets, according to Pauline. On the other side of the coin, the Cardinals, Panthers, and Broncos may like to trade up. Denver, presumably, would be targeting a quarterback in a trade-up scenario.
  • The Steelers will consider a cornerback at pick No. 25, but they’ll also look at offensive tackles, writes Pauline. Pittsburgh returns Alejandro Villanueva at tackle, and signed Ryan Harris this offseason, but an upgrade wouldn’t be out of the question.
  • The Packers might also like to find a new left tackle, says Pauline, as Green Bay would like to transition incumbent David Bakhtiari to left guard.
  • If pass rusher Noah Spence is still available at the end of the first round, a club might trade back up in order to draft him, per Pauline. The Buccaneers are one team to watch in such a situation.

Schrager’s Latest: Chargers, Buckner, Lynch

Here’s the latest from Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (all links to go Twitter):