The "Seahawks Sleepers" series is a flurry of quick scouting reports on some players that I've identified as potential targets for Seattle. My goal with this series is to highlight a few players that John Schneider, Pete Carroll and their scouting team might be interested in, and to give a brief synopsis as to why. For the most part, I'm high on the guys that I'll be pointing out - and I'll be monitoring them during the Draft and in Rookie Free Agency. Also, for the most part, these are mid- to later-round prospects, because let's be honest, you're probably sick of reading about first- and second-round type guys.
TE Levine Toilolo, Stanford - 6'8,260
I'm very torn on Toilolo - on one hand, his rawness and issues with catching the ball remind me too much of a younger version of Evan Moore, though I will admit that his pure size and length intrigues me for the Seahawks. He's a little bit hard to project - I'm not an expert on evaluating blocking proficiency with tight ends, but I've seen well-known scouts completely differ on Toilolo's strengths in that area.
On one hand, you have Russ Lande, who offers that Toilolo "is an excellent blocker, using his long arms to create space and keep defenders at bay," and even suggests that some teams may look to move him to offensive tackle.
On the other hand, Dane Brugler posits that Toilolo "Needs to use his body better to gain position and shield defenders, not always playing up to his size. Lacks ideal strength for the position and gets little push as a run blocker. Struggles as an open-field blocker and needs to improve his body angles."
Regardless of who is right. For the record, I see Toilolo as a fine in-line blocker and a guy that could certainly be coached up in that area, and though his downfield blocking could use some work, the same could be said about his route-running and consistency catching the football. The thing that you have to remember is what John Schneider preaches to his scouting team as a mantra: "Tell me what a player can do, not what he can't do."
Well, Toilolo has an enormous catch radius, and he can be used up the seam and in the redzone against shorter linebackers and defensive backs.
As the ever-so-wise Ben Muth tweeted a few weeks back:
People realize that Levine Toilolo is 6'8.5" and pretty athletic right? NFL, moreso than college, is about matchups. He'll be useful.— Ben Muth (@FO_wordofmuth) March 21, 2013
It's about matchups, and you're not going to find many 6'8" defenders with 34.5" arms. Harnessing that potential is what becomes key, and Seattle has taken a lot of pride in their ability to coach players up and make them productive in their system.
For these reasons, I'm intrigued. Not pounding the table at this point, but intrigued.