There was a brief smattering of reports that the Seahawks might trade up to the very top of the fourth round. It was an exciting way to kick off the final day of the NFL Draft, except when you looked at the fact that the Seahawks only had two possible picks they could’ve traded this year (one being that one at the end of the 4th), which would’ve meant that we would’ve had to give up a player and/or future picks. Ultimately, nothing happened (thank Christ), and we stuck with the picks we had.
- Terry Poole (4th Round, OL)
- Mark Glowinski (4th Round, OL)
- Tye Smith (5th Round, CB)
- Obum Gwacham (6th Round, DE)
- Kristjan Sokoli (6th Round, OL)
- Ryan Smith-Murphy (7th Round, S)
Poole was a tackle in college who is being groomed to compete for our starting left guard position. In theory, he can play any position – including center – so it’ll be interesting to see how it shakes out.
Glowinski is a guard who could probably play either guard spot (or, again, maybe even center). The Seahawks are going to give him a shot at competing for right guard (but, with Sweezy already pretty locked in there, it seems like Glowinski is being groomed to either be Sweezy’s replacement, or to be a general backup on the line).
Sokoli (if you’ll permit me to skip a few picks), was a defensive tackle in college. He’s another convert a la Sweezy. They’re going to try him out at center, but you gotta figure he could play any of the guard positions as well.
This day went HEAVY on the heavy guys. That’s pretty good to see. Okung is still around, but he’s a free agent after the 2015 season. Same thing for Sweezy. At the moment, we’ve got Patrick Lewis and Lemuel Jeanpierre battling for the center position, so it’s always nice to have more competition in the ranks. Alvin Bailey is a career backup who will be competing exclusively for the left guard spot. You don’t want to just hand over the position to someone without at least kicking the tires on a few others.
The point is, the Seahawks were quite thin along the offensive line. Many projected it to be our greatest need coming into the draft. Many were disappointed we didn’t go after someone on the second day of the draft, but it is what it is. The Seahawks picked up three freakishly athletic guys who will be able to compete right away for starting jobs. The Seahawks also got three guys who should be able to move around along the line. If Okung gets injured, Bailey or Poole could kick outside and we should be fine. If Sweezy goes down, Poole or Glow or Bailey could line up over there. That’s something you gotta have, because when was the last time the Seahawks had the same offensive line for a full season without any injuries? 2005? It just doesn’t happen anymore.
Tye Smith fills a need at the cornerback slot. With Jeremy Lane injured (and probably set to miss extensive time in the regular season), and with Byron Maxwell now playing for the Eagles, the Seahawks have some real work to do. Cary Williams was picked up in free agency, so at least we’ve got some veteran experience opposite of Sherman. We also still have Tharold Simon who will be in his third year. If he’s going to make the jump to everyday starter, this will be the year. Marcus Burley is still around as a nickel guy. Tye Smith figures to get a chance at being an outside corner, but failing that we could still see him in on some nickel packages. He’s a good press corner – which is what we do in this defense – so here’s to hoping he proves his worth quickly and we don’t get stuck relying on Cary Williams too much.
Obum Gwacham (pronounced O-Boom) is the consummate raw project. As a rookie, he probably tops out as a special teamer. But, with his speed, his height, and his tools, if he picks up the game and runs with it, he could be an effective pass rusher at some point down the line. If I had to guess, he either lands on the Practice Squad and/or the Injured Reserve for the first two years of his career. If he makes the team any earlier than that, then you have to figure we might just have something great on our hands.
Ryan Smith-Murphy is a 6’3 Safety out of Oregon State. We picked him late in the 7th round because it was always going to be difficult for this team to sign a quality safety as an undrafted free agent. That’s what these 7th round picks are for. We do have room for another backup safety, so he’ll go in there to compete, but it’s hard to really project anything on a 7th rounder. Still, every year there’s at least a couple undrafted guys who make the team. If he’s special, he’ll find a way to stick. If he’s REALLY special, we may have found another Kam Chancellor-type.
The Seahawks filled a lot of needs in this draft. Pass rush, wide receiver, and offensive line being the top three. Of course, we won’t know how to properly grade this draft for at least a couple years, but this one feels like the best draft we’ve had since 2012, which comes just in the nick of time. If Clark stays out of trouble, he could be a great one. I already expect Lockett to be a solid receiver for us for a long time. Our offensive line needs were addressed by guys who Tom Cable should have ready to start right away if need be. We picked up a corner who this team should be able to coach up. And, we got some athletic prospects towards the bottom who have high ceilings if everything breaks right.
When you’re the Seahawks, and you’re constantly drafting near the bottom of every round, you’ve got to take chances to stand out. Tim Ruskell’s Seahawks would’ve selected the guys with the fewest red flags. He would’ve made the safest picks, the guys with low ceilings but higher floors, ultimately spinning the wheels of mediocrity. John Schneider takes chances because he wants to find greatness in the later rounds. Sure, some of his picks might flame out spectacularly, but when he hits on guys, they tend to hit pretty big. If you can find players late in rounds who are capable of cracking THIS roster – which is already at an elite level – then you know you’ve done your job.
I’m starting to get really excited for Training Camp again. Good work, Seahawks.