SEAHAWKS 2017 DRAFT
Draft Picks –
R1 Pk26, R2 Pk58, R3 Pk90, R3 PkCOMP, R3 PkCOMP, R6, R7 Pk (CAR)
4th – to NE 2016 draft
5th – rules violation
7th SEA to OAK Dewey McDonald
The team has invested resources in the line with the signing of Luke Joeckel and Oday Aboushi. These are two players that could potentially play either Tackle or Guard, and go ahead and throw last year’s 1st Round pick Germain Ifedi in the same situation. However, out of all those guys it seems like Joeckel is the only real LT option on roster. If you pencil Joeckel at LT and figure the team has Ifedi at RT probably at Aboushi at RG. That would make for an overall more talented and likely better OL than 2016, but that also doesn’t really say much.
If the team can go into 2017 with Aboushi competing with Ifedi for starting RG or as the backup swing Guard or emergency RT and Garry Gilliam as the backup at RT/LT that would probably make everyone feel better. That would mean bringing on at least a Tackle. If any of Ramczyk, Robinson, or Bolles (in that order for me) are there in the 1st Round I think it is a no brainer to pick one of them. They are all upgrades at RT with potential to play LT in 2017 or the future. If none are there, it gets interesting. Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney are players the team could possibly trade back and get in the top of the 2nd as very good Guards if they think Ifedi/Aboushi could hold down RT. Otherwise, if you want a pure RT prospect you can likely hold off until the 3rd Round, possibly as late as the compensatory picks or trading back into the 4th for a guy like David Sharpe or Will Holden. There is also Roderick Johnson from Florida State, who has everything you want in a Left Tackle, but is raw and just didn’t put it together game to game in college.
Either way, it seems like a foregone conclusion the team will add 1 or 2 bodies on the line, with at least one being a Day 1 or Day 2 pick.
Jeremy Lane struggled off and on coming back from injury, and has never really held down the outside corner spot during his career. DeShawn Shead showed he could be a stable presence both inside and outside, but is not much of a playmaker and will also be missing the first few weeks recovering from a late season injury.
All that and a deep corner class points to this being the year the team spends some resources on the spot across from Richard Sherman and gets a true outside corner. If all the Tackles come off the board in Round 1, that would likely mean an elite Cornerback like Gareon Conley has fallen to Seattle and they would be unlikely to pass that type of player up. If they trade back to the top of the 2nd Round and even possibly at their own 2nd Round pick a player like Cordrea Tankersley, Quincy Wilson, Kevin King, or Adoree Jackson is likely to be around to pick. They could also wait things out and get a more talented but injured player like Fabian Moreau or Sidney Jones in the 2nd or 3rd Round and use their depth a system to make things work until the player has healed up and become ready to go. I think by the end of the 3rd Round we’ll have seen a Corner come off the board to play in Seattle.
Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Frank Clark, Ahtyba Rubin, and Jarran Reed are good players and represent a nice starting group. Quinton Jefferson also has promise and Cassius Marsh may work into the rotation at DE in addition to his snaps at LB, but without a doubt there is need for depth on the Defensive Line, especially the interior.
In a draft with a ton of depth and players with lots of promise likely to slip into the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Rounds, it could be a chance to steal a player. However, Seattle has three 3rd Round Picks and no 4th or 5th Round picks. For that reason it would not be surprising to see them swap back a few spots here and there in the early rounds or leverage some 2018 draft resources to get something going this year. I’d look for at least one Defensive Tackle in the late 3rd or the 4th Round, a player like Elijah Qualls from Washington or Ryan Glasgow from Michigan. Both are disruptive interior players who could provide some pass rush to complement Reed and Rubin as stout forces in the middle. They may also be able to get a guy in the 5th or 6th that is a pure run stuffer, as that skill set has lost some value in the NFL.
At Defensive End, the team could run with what they have, but the depth in the draft has me feeling like at least a Day 3 pick could go do a developmental prospect like Deatrich Wise from Arkansas or Avery Moss from Youngstown State.
The wild card here is the 1st Round. If a player like Taco Charlton or Malik McDowell falls all the way to the Seahawks at 26th, and the Left Tackle they need isn’t still there, they could get a player that is a Top 10-15 talent for the Defensive Line. I don’t think this staff would pass up that chance.
While I do not think this position is the most important for Seattle, it is likely a position you will see addressed in the Draft. DeShawn Shead showed he can play well on the inside, and the team does have quite a few Safety options, but with all the good fits out there in this Draft I think the team is likely to leap on a guy that can really hold down the slot and improve the coverage unit.
Where does this happen? Well…I could see it all the way up in Round 2 if a player like Budda Baker or Tre’Davious White slips. Desmond King would be a very interesting and highly productive college player who could be sitting there at the Seahawks pick in Round 2. I could also see them getting a guy like Jourdan Lewis out of Michigan or Justin Evans out of Texas A&M in Round 3, possibly even with the compensatory picks. The Wild Card would be a guy like Obi Melifonwu on Day 2 or Josh-Harvey Clemons on Day 3, who could be seen as Kam Chancellor replacements/clones as Costco sized Safeties that can play in the box and still cover. One of any number of scenarios could play out, but at some point a Safety or Slot corner is likely to find their way to Seattle.
Seattle has picked up Michael Wilhoite and Arthur Brown this offseason, but that pretty much just plugs the spots left by Brock Coyle leaving and Mike Morgan’s contract expiring. While the position is a bit in flux as the team could go with a base Nickel Defense and a hybrid Safety look, it is also possible they want to pick up a starting Linebacker. That will show in the type of resources they spend on the position. A 2nd or 3rd Round pick on a guy like Jarrad Davis from Florida or Raekwon McMillan out of Ohio State would indicate the team wants 3 base LBs for their Defense. However, a 4th or 5th Round Pick on a guy like Devonte’ Fields out of Louisville or Tennessee’s Jalen Reeves-Maybin would be a flier on a guy who could become more but isn’t such a big resource expense to make you think they have to be a full time player. If the team is all in on playing 5 DBs, then it will be more like a 7th Round pick on a guy like Ben Gideon from Michigan that will add to the special teams units and be depth that can function on the field if needed.
Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, and Paul Richardson are probably the team’s best Wide Receivers. They are all very good receivers, but none are big body 50/50 ball guys. They are precision players and athletes. Jimmy Graham is basically a WR, but his skill set is specific – he’s a mismatch maker either in line or split wide. What the team needs is a faster receiver that can go up and get the ball. A bigger body, big catch radius player. Tanner McEvoy could be that player, but I’m not optimistic he’s more than an interesting gadget guy. Jermaine Kearse is supposed to be that guy on the team, but at 6’1 209lbs with a sub-50% catch rate in 2016 he doesn’t look like the answer right now.
Enter Josh Reynolds (Texas A&M), Jehu Chesson (Michigan), and Quincy Adeboyejo (Ole Miss). These three represent half a dozen or so 6’2 and over receivers with huge catch radius that are likely to go some time 4th Round or later. It is possible the team looks to last year’s 7th Round lottery ticket in the form of Kenny Lawler, but don’t be surprised to see another.
7. K (?)
Steve Hauschka is gone to Buffalo. The team has brought in Blair Walsh and John Lunsford to compete for the kicking job, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see another body thrown on the pile. This could be a 6th – 7th Round Pick, or more likely a UDFA. The only Kicker there seems to be consensus on getting drafted in Zen Gonzalez out of Arizona State, so that could potentially leave options out there like Jake Elliott from Memphis or Andy Phillips from Utah. That is not to mention other small school kids, because Kickers can come from just about anywhere. No matter the source, I’d be a bit surprised if the 2 in the pool now are the only 2 in the pool until September.
8. Return Specialist
I think it is very unlikely the team will spend a draft pick on a returner. However, I could see them getting a player at a position of need that has return skills. A corner like Adoree Jackson, or a slot player like Desmond King would add to the return ability of the team. A later round receiver with some height could also be a potential returner. I would imagine after the team dealt with issues when Tyler Lockett was out they will try to answer this for 2017. The answer may be on roster with a guy like JD McKissic, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see another guy added. As Lockett picks up a bigger role in the Offense, limiting his returns could be something the team wants to do.