This is the BYE week, so instead of 3 keys to this week’s game I am looking at 3 key positions for the Seattle Seahawks the rest of this year. Specifically, these are 3 positions that look to be lacking or more precisely look to be spots we could improve through the draft. It is early, but I am preparing a lot more for draft coverage with the podcast. Think of this as a sneak preview from my notes:
1. Offensive Tackle
Germain Ifedi may or may not shift to Right Tackle in the offseason, but all that means is we don’t know if the team will need a new Left Tackle and a new Guard, or two new Tackles. I think most Seahawks fans would put Left Tackle as the biggest need for the team, and protecting Russell Wilson will go a long way towards keeping that window wide open for this squad. A lack of money to spend makes the draft look like the place this will happen.
Unfortunately for Seattle, this is not a great year for Left Tackles. Cam Robinson from Alabama is the bell cow and likely won’t slip anywhere near where the team will pick. Beyond him is Roderick Johnson from Florida State who is all tools but not production (feels like a trap). Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame looks like the real deal, but he may stay in school another year. The guys that make sense for Seattle to me are a pair of players who could be available in Round 2 in Adam Bisnowaty from Pittsburgh and Avery Gennesy out of Texas A&M. Bisnowaty is a 6’5 300lb mauler who operates out of a physical running team in college. He looks like a very good Right Tackle, but he does seem to be able to shift and move his feet well enough to stand a chance at Left Tackle. Gennesy is the man who kept Germain Ifedi a Right Tackle his final season at A&M as Gennesy shows the footwork and slide ability that make it seem like he might be able to handle the position in the NFL. Throw in the fact that he has a real nasty streak and loves physically finishing a block, and he would make a lot of sense.
Seattle never really replaced Bruce Irvin, and as much as the team plays nickel it still would make a lot of sense to upgrade this spot on an already deep roster. A few players make a lot of sense in the 2nd – 4th rounds with Cameron Reeves-Maybin from Tennessee, Devonte Fields from Louisville, and James Onwualu out of Notre Dame. They each bring slightly different skill sets, so it depends on what the team wants.
Reeves-Maybin is in the mold of the new Linebacker with Safety skills. He isn’t the biggest player, but he is fast and would represent an upgrade in pass coverage skills for this position group in Seattle. Fields is more of a direct replacement for Irvin, as a big time pass rusher who is athletic enough to drop into coverage as well. He did have some serious off-field issues that resulted in being booted from TCU, but that hasn’t stopped Seattle before (see: Clark, Frank). Either of those two players could go off the board anywhere from the late 1st round to the early 3rd round. Going slightly later in the mid-rounds is James Onwualu, who is a bit bigger than Reeves-Maybin and plays very well in run coverage as well as being able to cover the pass and blitz a bit. He also could be the replacement for KJ Wright if the team chose to move on from his contract.
Jeremy Lane and DeShawn Shead have done quite well this year, showing that they are an option the team could win with. However, Cornerback is one of the deepest positions in the draft and I would be very surprised if the team didn’t pick one up. There are a pair of talented players the team wouldn’t even need to travel to scout in the University of Washington’s Sidney Jones and Kevin King. Other plays that would make sense would be Gareon Conley from Ohio State and Ahkello Witherspoon out of Colorado.
Sidney Jones would require likely a 1st or 2nd Round investment as his stock is really on the rise. He is talented, smart, and physical. If he runs in the 4.40’s during draft scouting, he’ll go in the 1st Round for sure. Conley is a very good coverage player who is being forgotten a bit after being the heir apparent to Eli Apple. He may not be a true shut down guy, but he could be a big talent in the 2nd or 3rd Round. King is a rangy 6’3 player who may be a step slower than you’d love but plays the ball well and makes very smart moves in coverage. Witherspoon is the up and comer, with Awuzie playing opposite him and getting all the draft love Witherspoon is another 6’3 CB getting overlooked in the early draft scouting process. This year’s Corner group reminds me of a couple seasons ago when Seattle picked up Tyler Lockett for a 3rd Round pick in a loaded Wide Receiver class, while he’d have gone in the low 1st or high 2nd Round in a year with a less talented crop at the position. This could be a steal that pays off big for the team.
Keep these players on your radar, and if you get a chance to watch some college football tune in to some Washington, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, Colorado, Ohio State, Louisville, Tennessee, or Notre Dame games. It could be fun, and you could be watching some future Seahawks.