Tom Cable on the thinking behind the Seahawks’ O-line conversions

May 15, 2015, 11:40 AM | Updated: 11:50 am
Kristjan Sokoli, a sixth-round pick in 2015, couldn't make the switch from defensive tackle to the ...
Kristjan Sokoli, a sixth-round pick in 2015, couldn't make the switch from defensive tackle to the O-line. (AP)
(AP)
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Seahawks offensive-line coach Tom Cable was a guest on “Brock and Salk” earlier this week and shared an interesting take on the state of college football, one that helps explain the reasoning behind one of Seattle’s curious draft tendencies.

Why were the Seahawks again willing to take on the project of converting a defensive tackle – in this case, sixth-round pick Kristjan Sokoli – when they could have just chosen someone who already played offensive line? In Cable’s view, they would have had a project of some sort on their hands one way or another.

Listen to Seahawks O-line coach Tom Cable on “Brock and Salk”

“I’m not offending or wanting to offend anybody, but college football offensively has just gotten to be really, really bad fundamentally. So you see these big bodies and you think, ‘Well, he’s 6-5-this and he’s 300-this and his arms-this and all that,’ ” Cable said. “And then you watch him and he’s not a finisher and he doesn’t strain and he can’t pass set and he can’t stay on balance and he can’t play with leverage.

“You start finding all these negatives and you look at it and say, ‘Well, I can go get a guy who runs a little faster, maybe jumps a little higher, that’s got an aggressive streak in him – at least I can see that on defense – and just start with him.’ I’m going to have to retrain an offensive lineman that’s coming out of college now anyway.”

The reason for that trend in college football is the proliferation of spread offenses, which, as Cable explained, teach a different set of skills and can leave offensive players ill-prepared for what they’ll face in the NFL.

“I think we’re doing a huge disservice to offensive football players – other than at receiver – who come out of these spread systems,” Cable said. “The runners aren’t as good; they’re not taught how to run. The blockers aren’t as good. The quarterbacks aren’t as good; they don’t know how to read coverage and throw progressions. They have no idea.”

That helps explain why the Seahawks have in three of the last four years drafted a college defensive tackle with the intention of moving him to the offensive line. Seattle did with J.R. Sweezy in 2012, with Jared Smith a year later and now with Sokoli.

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Tom Cable on the thinking behind the Seahawks’ O-line conversions