Since I did a draft analysis on the Detroit Lions, I figure it’s only fair that I do one for the Seattle Seahawks.
They have had some great drafts over the past few years, picking up some quality players and some great production from late round draft picks. Did anyone figure in 2012 that he would become a Super Bowl champion in 2013? Especially after signing Matt Flynn to a $20.5 million dollar contract who everyone thought he was going to be the starter. But once Wilson won the job outright, Seahawks traded Flynn to the Oakland Raiders for a 2014 5th round pick and a conditional 2015 pick.
Once of many moves in the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era that paid off handsomely. Can they do it again this year? I sure hope so. A lot of the moves that have been made were at the cost of the offensive line. True, they came together last year in the second half of the season but I’m pretty sure that during that first half, when they allowed 37 sacks in the first half, no one could envision Russell Wilson finishing the season let alone get into the playoffs.
Seahawks need, outside of an offensive line, is cornerback & defensive line. I’m offering three options in each round but knowing the Seahawks, I’ll probably be off by quite a lot.
Round 1, Pick 26
- Eli Apple – CB, Ohio State: 6-0, 199lbs.
- William Jackson – CB, Houston: 6-0, 189lbs.
- Jack Conklin – OT, Michigan State: 6-5, 308lbs.
Seahawks have capable starter opposite Richard Sherman in DeShawn Shead and Jeremy Lane. But injuries have plagued the right corner slot and FA Brandon Browner, while he knows the system, isn’t the answer. Apple or Jackson can push Shead and Lane for the starting spot. But, with the need to upgrade the offensive line, if Jack Conklin is there, Hawks should take him and forget about the LT spot for the next 10 years. Alvin Bailey is capable at LT but isn’t the long term solution.
Round 2, Pick 56
- Jason Spriggs – OT, Indiana: 6-5, 301lbs
- Kenny Clark – DT, UCLA: 6-2, 314lbs
- Austin Johnson – DT, Penn State: 6-4, 314lbs
If the Hawks are lucky enough to get Conklin in the first round and Spriggs with their second pick, I would say they solved their O-Line issues. Spriggs would be a great addition to the line and can push current starter Garry Gilliam for the RT spot. Clark and Johnson are two good run-stoppers and can push the pile back. Either one would give the Hawks the depth they like on the D-Line.
Round 3, Pick 90
- Yannick Ngakoue – OLB/DE, Maryland: 6-2, 252lbs
- Joshua Garnett – Guard, Stanford: 6-5, 325lbs
- Jacoby Brissett – QB, NC State: 6-3, 231lbs
Ngakoue could be the Bruce Irvin answer for the Hawks. He is a hybrid football player who is fast with a 4.75 40 time and is slippery with an ability to get involved with plays even while being blocked. Garnett is a big bodied guard and with Sweezy one in free agency, could be the answer at RG and open holes for Thomas Rawls. Tavaris Jackson, while a great presence in the locker room, is getting on in years. Brissett could be another 3rd round find for Schneider.
Round 4, Pick 124
- Vadal Alexander – G/OT, LSU: 6-5, 326lbs
- KJ Dillion – S, West Virginia: 6-0, 210lbs
- Bronson Kaufusi – DE, BYU: 6-6, 285lbs
This is where Hawks start to look for depth. However, while Alexander needs some work on pass protection, he is already a pretty good run blocker. Imagine him as LG next to Conklin at LT. A lot a beef on the left side to protect Wilson’s blind side. Kam Chancellor is starting to break down and why wouldn’t he with the way he plays? Need to have a player in his style so we don’t lose a step and Dillion could be that guy. Kaufusi would give a lot of QB’s some sight problems with his wingspan and again, would add a lot of depth to the defensive line.
Round 5, Pick 171
- Jake McGee – TE, Florida: 6-5, 252lbs
- Geronimo Allison – WR, Illinois: 6-3, 196lbs
- Rees Odiambo – Guard, Boise State: 6-3, 314lbs
As of right now, Luke Willson is your starting TE with Cooper Helfet and Chase Coffman as back-ups. It is unknown if Jimmy Graham can come back from his horrific knee injury. Pete Carroll stated that Graham’s surgery went well but if he does come back, can we expect the same player that he was. I doubt it because when knees start to go, it naturally limits movement. Jake McGee is no Jimmy Graham but he would probably be the best blocking TE the Hawks have had in a while. Allison is a big target but a little light at 196lbs and being 6-3. Like to see him add at least 25 lbs. since he will need guile and finesse since speed is an issue. He gets up for passes and blocks well on the edge. Odiambo would add some much needed depth on the O-Line.
Round 6, Pick 215
- Jack Allen – Center, Michigan State: 6-1, 294lbs
- Brandon Allen – QB, Arkansas: 6-1, 214lbs
- Tyler Johnstone – OT, Oregon: 6-5, 301lbs
Patrick Lewis stabilized the O-line when he took over the starting center spot in the 2nd half of the season. Back-up Jeanpierre is better suited as a guard so bringing in Allen to back-up Lewis would give the Hawks some flexibility and still have good depth at center with Jeanpierre as the 3rd option. Allen would give the Hawks a younger back-up than Jackson and plays similar to starter Russell Wilson. He comfortable under center and does well on bootlegs and rollouts. But he tends to take hard hits on runs and doesn’t do well on long passing down situations. Johnstone showed some good athleticism before a knee injury and scouts hope he gets that back. Plays hard to the whistle and can finish blocks. Could be a sleeper pick in the draft.
Round 7, Pick 225
- Joe Haeg – G/OT, North Dakota State: 6-6, 304lbs
- Jarred Norris – ILB, Utah: 6-2, 240lbs
- Jason Fanika – DE, Utah: 6-1, 276lbs
When drafting 7th rounders, it would be a surprise to find starters. So if these players make the team, it’s most likely for depth or special teams. Haeg is an interesting player as he is graded on NFL.com at 5.29, not bad for a projected 7th round pick. He played both tackle spots and has good lateral quickness. What gets him is getting caught on the balls of his feet in pass protection. Would be a project for Tom Cable. Norris is a team leader which would be great on special teams. He has good reactive instincts and has a good feel for what running lanes opposing running backs will take. Needs to work on staying low and not exposing his chest when taking on second-level blockers Fanika would be a good situational player as he is able to get low and work under opponents pads to gain leverage at point of attack. But with average speed, he tends to lunge to make tackles in open space.
Round 7, Pick 247
- Isaac Seumalo – Center, Oregon State: 6-5, 297lbs
- DeWayne Washington – RB Washington, 6-2, 226lbs
- Ted Karras – Guard, Illinois: 6-4, 307lbs
Seumalo would bring some good versatility along with adding depth to the O-line. He has played center, right tackle, left tackle and right guard. He has quick feet and above average lateral movement. Good understanding of footwork and angles to secure running lanes and is a patient blocker. Needs to add some mass to play in the NFL. Washington has that rate combination of size and speed…kicks it into another gear when he hits the second level. Former wide receiver can overmatch most linebackers in coverage. Has a long stride which makes him struggle making quick cuts. Will run up blockers backs rather than go between the tackles. Also needs to work on ball security. Karras has some football lineage including being the great nephew of Pro Bowler Alex Karras. Four year started at Illinois at right guard, he uses brute upper body strength to get defenders turned. Gritty demeanor on the field and is very intense on game day but stays within himself being penalized only twice over the past two seasons.
As I look back over this, I wonder: What are the Seahawks going to do?
Guess we’ll find out draft weekend!