I’m not a draftnik by any means. I don’t do mock drafts, because I don’t know enough about the vast majority of college football outside of the University of Washington, and because they’re a collosal waste of time. I like to write about other sports when nothing’s happening in the NFL, so I don’t know what I would do if I had to write about the NFL all year round.
But, you know, some information does manage to slip through into my brain from time to time. I have a vague, general idea of some of the best players in the draft this year and where they might end up going. I’m also keenly aware of the Seattle Seahawks and their needs in the aftermath of the first round of the free agency signing period (the second round is between the draft and the start of the regular season, and it’s much less interesting, with guys getting training camp tryouts more than anything else). I know where the Seahawks pick, so I have a pretty good idea of who will be available and who won’t be. And, I’ve got a decent idea of where this draft is strongest and weakest.
The Seahawks pick 26th out of 32 in the first round. They have a second round pick in roughly the same spot, and three third rounders. No fourths or fifths; one sixth and one seventh, for a total of 7 draft picks. Knowing the Seahawks, they’d like to have more than 7 picks in this draft, so it’s entirely plausible that the Seahawks end up trading down on one or more occasions, to perhaps pick up an extra 2nd or 3rd rounder, or maybe fill in that extensive gap between their last 3rd rounder and their 6th rounder.
So, if I had to guess, I’d say the Seahawks don’t actually make a selection at 26. I say that because they’ve traded down in the first round multiple times before. I say that because there’s REALLY no consensus among rookie quarterbacks coming out this year, meaning it’s not too likely a quarterback is taken in any of the top five picks, but it’s entirely possible that many multiple quarterbacks are taken between 6-32, as I get the feeling different teams have different QBs rated as their highest and would love nothing more than to prove the rest of the NFL wrong, that they know better. As such, there’s a pretty good chance we see a team willing to trade up from the early 2nd round and move into Seattle’s spot. Cleveland, San Francisco, Chicago, and the Jets all pick pretty early in the 2nd round, for instance. The lower the Seahawks go down the ladder, the more in draft capital they’re likely to pick up.
To wrap up this part of the post, would I be in favor of the Seahawks trading down? Why not? However, if it prevents us from getting certain guys I want, I’m going to be a little upset.
So, who are some of the guys projected to go to Seattle? Well, I’m sure among many, many others, I’ve been seeing the following names a lot:
- Cam Robinson OT
- Garett Bolles OT
- Forrest Lamp G
- Kevin King CB
- Obi Melifonwu S
I could probably go on and on if I wanted to really do some research, but I’ll tell you what I think about these guys. Even though offensive line was an abject disaster last year, I’m not super high on taking a lineman in the first round. When I hear things like, “This is the worst draft ever for offensive linemen,” I cringe. All those people saying that could be dead wrong, and there could be any number of quality linemen who develop from this class, but it seems like a longshot to me. Taking an offensive lineman at 26 (or wherever the Seahawks land with their first pick of the draft) is going to have the feel of a reach to me. The Seahawks drafting for need over value, taking whatever lineman is the best available just because. If the Seahawks are going to take yet another offensive lineman with their first pick, it better be a guy who is a quality starter from Day 1, and quite frankly their track record stinks in this area.
- Ifedi, last year, was a starter from Day 1, but not a good one
- Britt (their 2nd selection in the 2014 draft) wasn’t good until year 3
- Carpenter (2011) wasn’t the right tackle we were promised, eventually settling into a so-so left guard
- Moffitt (also 2011) was never good, is out of the league now
- Okung (2010) the only quality lineman, but had his own issues (was also a #6 overall draft pick and the second left tackle taken in the draft)
The Seahawks and Plug & Play O-Linemen don’t really mesh. It either takes time for them to develop into decent players, if they ever develop at all.
So, what are we supposed to do if we take one of these tackles like Robinson or Bolles, if they’re still around? Well, you have to play them, of course! You have to get value out of your top picks, meaning you need to feature them early and often to get your money’s worth! Considering it looks like Ifedi is being moved over to right tackle, and considering the Seahawks signed Luke Joeckel, and considering they still highly regard George Fant, I mean, what do we do here with this embarrassment of debts? (that’s the opposite of Embarrassment of Riches, right?) Besides that, do either of them play left tackle, which is actually the position we need to be filling with a competent player? I have my doubts.
Plus, I don’t even think O-Line is the most pressing need right now. I think the Seahawks did all they did in free agency so they WOULDN’T have to settle on taking an O-Lineman with their first draft pick. They NEED to replenish their secondary, and I think they do that here. I hope they do that here. I NEED THEM TO DO THAT HERE!
I’ve had it in my head, pretty much since the combine, that we can get the band back together – so to speak – with regards to the UW secondary. I absolutely LOVE Kevin King’s potential for growth, and I also think he’d be ready to start from Day 1 opposite Richard Sherman. And, in a couple years, when Sherman opts to move on to another team, I love Kevin King’s potential to take over that spot and flourish for many years to come. I’m also well aware that, since the combine, his stock has skyrocketed, and as a result he may get selected before the Seahawks could even sniff at a chance of trading up for him. Like, maybe even in the Top 20. In which case, if that happens, so be it, and I wish him a long and fruitful career (except when he plays the Seahawks).
I also need to understand that there are many other cornerbacks and safeties out there that the Seahawks could conceivably covet (like that Melifonwu guy out of UConn), that could be as good or even better than Kevin King. I just think I’m going to be REALLY upset if King is still there and the Seahawks pick someone else over him, that’s all.
As a dark horse, who no one is really talking about when they talk about the Seahawks, is Budda Baker. Like I said, I’m REALLY high on the Washington Huskies’ secondary, and I think I want as many of them as possible to play for Seattle. I know Baker’s essentially blocked at the safety position by Earl Thomas, and I know they just signed Bradley McDougald as a prominent backup safety they hope to incorporate into the defense; but I’ve also seen what this team looks like without Kam Chancellor, and without Earl Thomas (though, thankfully, not without both at the same time, which I fear would be the death of me), and I honestly believe you can’t have enough talent at that position, when you’re playing a Pete Carroll defense. With Baker backing up Earl, you don’t have NEARLY the dropoff you had last year when Earl went down. But, even if Earl and Kam don’t miss a single important snap the entire season, that doesn’t mean you wasted your selection on Baker. Budda can play cornerback too! Line him up outside and move Lane inside, or keep Lane outside and let Budda play nickel, either way I think you’re going to have tremendous production from him, and a fabulous stopgap until DeShawn Shead can come back from injury.
Not for nothing, but I haven’t even mentioned Sidney Jones here. With his achilles tendon injury, his draft stock fell pretty hard. If he were to fall to the Seahawks in the second round, I think I might lose my shit, though I think that’s a longshot. Nevertheless, coming away with Baker and Jones in this draft might make it all worthwhile in mine eyes.
There’s also talk of the Seahawks going with a pass rusher with their first pick, but I dunno. I just don’t know who’s going to be available. They have Avril, Bennett, and Frank Clark in the fold already. In the big pass rushing package, you can slide Bennett inside and play all three of those guys at once, but you still need another interior pass rusher to pair with him, and the very best ones of that group tend to be picked super high (I see you Solomon Thomas, and I hope to holy hell that the 49ers don’t pick you #2 overall). If you could guarantee me the Seahawks find some diamond in the rough, I suppose I’d be for it, but there aren’t a ton of rookie pass rushers who make huge impacts AS rookies.
More than anything else, I want a guy who can come in and start right away, but I also want a guy who will have a big positive impact right away. Seems unlikely at any of the line positions (either offense or defense), seems unlikely at wide receiver or running back, and in my opinion going after a linebacker (with Wagner and Wright never leaving the field) would be beyond irresponsible, given the holes this team needs to fill. The only thing worse would be if the Seahawks went quarterback with their first pick, at which point I might throw my remote through the television.
The only logical choice is to use that first pick on the secondary. So that’s what I’d like to see the Seahawks do in the 2017 NFL Draft.