It's Thursday and that means Field Gulls long football weekend begins. Tonight's North Carolina at Virginia Tech matchup lacks the preeminent talent that last week's Florida State game had, but both teams have talent that could contribute to the Seahawks future. Here's a brief rundown and then we'll turn this post into a game thread.
Kam Chancellor: I was pondering Taylor Mays yesterday. Mays shows up poorly in game film. His tendency to bring the boom but forget the brain has earned comparisons to Roy Williams. Williams was a feared run defender in his time. He was a sideline to sideline force in the box that could break down on a rusher in space and bullet backs into the turf. Ideally, Mays could be that, but not around the line like Williams, but twenty yards deep, and not blowing up rushers, but breaking up passes by blowing up receivers.
The Taylor Mays-Eric Berry dilemma ignores an important fact: Tim Ruskell has always built his safeties through developing late round picks. It isn't set in stone, but has been consistent. Jordan Babineaux is the latest, but he looks temporary. Chancellor is a hulking free safety that could be Mays lite. He is 6'4", 230 and benched 355 as a freshman. Seattle seems intent on running a cover one and keeping Deon Grant in the box. A player that could sweep the deep middle and punish receivers who challenge him would be an asset. Chancellor must first improve his cover instincts and quickness to the ball carrier. If he shows something in the next few weeks, don't be surprised if Seattle drafts him and develops him on the roster for future employment.
Ed Wang and Sergio Render: Two tech linemen that could play guard for Seattle. Wang is a slight tackle that used to be a tight end. Render is a preseason All-ACC recipient that was once considered among the best guard prospects in college football.
Jason Worilds: He isn't likely part of this coming class, but the junior end fits the Ruskell mold and is worth watching. Worlids is short but powerful.
Cam Thomas: Seattle has added Colin Cole and Red Bryant, but if it intends to get keep getting bigger in the middle, allowing its ends and linebacker to run free, it should upgrade Cole and ensure against Bryant never developing. Thomas is 6'3", 330 space eater that can create a little rush. That makes him like a younger Cole, but with better upside.
The Tar Heels are little younger than the Hokies and have fewer pro prospects, but make sure to check out their linebackers. One could replace Leroy Hill someday soon. Credit to NFL Draft Scout for much of the above information. It's a peerless resource.