Before we get too far into this, just know that I’m not doing any sort of mock draft or any of that nonsense. These are just going to be some of my general thoughts surrounding what the Seahawks should do later this week.
First, let’s look at the list of picks the Seahawks currently own as of this writing:
- 1st Round (18th)
- 4th Round (20th)
- 5th Round (4th)
- 5th Round (9th)
- 5th Round (31st)
- 7th Round (8th)
- 7th Round (30th)
- 7th Round (32nd)
There’s a lot of bad information out on the Internet, so as best as I can tell the Seahawks have those 8 picks at the moment. Not for nothing, but that’s quite the Mike Holmgrenian stack of picks, as this team squandered some real value picks to bring in guys like Sheldon Richardson and Duane Brown. It’s assumed that the Seahawks are looking to get back into the 2nd & 3rd rounds, which is either going to cost them their first round pick or Earl Thomas.
I’ve been waffling all offseason on this thing, but I’m finally ready to make a decision: I DON’T want the Seahawks to trade down from the 18th pick in the draft (unless it’s a very minor move – 2-3 spots maybe – that still allows them to get their guy). I want the Seahawks to pick in the top 20 in the first round if at all possible, because I believe there’s an impact player in that range. With all the teams we figure will take quarterbacks in the top half of the first round, some real studs are bound to fall! I want the Seahawks to grab one of these studs and have him start right away.
I also, not for nothing, DON’T want that pick to be on the offensive line. This team has proven countless times that it doesn’t know what the fuck it’s doing in this area, so stop wasting high picks! Select a guy at a position they’re more in tune with, and again, let him start right away. Something else I’ve gleaned in recent years is that offensive linemen aren’t good right away. It takes a year or two to get used to the NFL way of playing O-Line (unless you’re one of the very best in the draft, which are usually in the top 10 or 15 of the first round, where the Seahawks never get to pick anymore), and quite frankly it takes a year or two to get strong enough to deal with these massive D-Linemen. So, fuck it. I want a guy we can see a lot of production from right away.
Which brings me to the other main point: I’m okay with trading Earl Thomas to get 2nd and/or 3rd round picks. Look, we’ve had him at his best. He’s never going to be any better than he’s been in a Seahawks uniform. Yes, he was very good in 2017, and he very well may continue to be very good for the next few years, but eventually he WILL start to slip, and I don’t think I want to take the risk. The risk being: him slipping sooner than we all anticipate. I’m not comfortable giving him top safety money if we’re only going to get 2-3 years of elite play before the slide. And, let’s not forget what just happened to Kam. One wrong hit – considering how Earl has played the game since entering the league – could end his career. He’s taken quite a pounding since 2010; let some other team worry about that. The flipside is that he learns to play safer, but do you want to watch Earl not playing Earl-type football? Avoiding the impact hits in favor of a safer ankle tackle, while giving up additional yards in the process?
Sorry, I’m out. Earl Thomas is a Hall of Famer, and I’ll always appreciate what he did for the Seahawks, but this is a rebuilding year and sacrifices need to be made. Get those picks, save that money, get the cap right for 2019 and beyond, and let’s get back into championship mode by next year.
If it works out the way I want it to, we could be in for a very fun and entertaining draft. The Seahawks have needs up and down the roster; for my money, this is the order of importance:
- Running Back
- Defensive Line
- Safety (assuming Earl is traded)
- Tight End
- Wide Receiver
- Offensive Line
If I had my druthers, the Seahawks would use that first round pick on either the best running back available, or the best free safety available (again, assuming Earl is traded). Chris Carson is a nice hedge, but if there’s another Leonard Fournette or Ezekiel Elliott-type back that falls to us, I hope we pounce. Those guys are such game-changers for their teams (obviously, I don’t want dudes with sketchy pasts, but from a pure talent standpoint, you get the idea). Either that, or if there’s another speed freak at safety we can plug back there for LOB 2.0 (with Shaq and whoever we end up with on the opposite side).
If I had to guess, though, I think the Seahawks will draft the best pass rusher available with their first pick. It’s what they do! I won’t hate it, but I’ll admit a little variety goes a long way in my book, and picking a stud running back or safety would be right up my alley.
I do think getting another diamond in the rough cornerback in the 3rd/4th round range would be ideal, to pit him opposite Shaq (with Coleman roaming the slot). And, while I don’t think this will be picked high, if there’s a freakish linebacker that falls into the 2nd/3rd round range, I wouldn’t be shocked to see that move made. More likely they’ll use one of the 5th rounders to pick up another linebacker project, with the hopes that he’d take K.J.’s place after this year.
As for tight end, I just think they need bodies, but I don’t think they need highly-drafted bodies. I also don’t know if the draft is littered with amazing tight ends, so probably better to dumpster dive this spot. Nevertheless, the Seahawks DO need a long term solution, so let’s hope they’ve done their homework here. Wide receiver, on the other hand, is always a good idea to look into. Again, I doubt it would be picked high, but it’d be interesting if they found a stud in the second round that they liked. Tyler Lockett might move on at the end of his deal, so we’re going to need SOMEONE to pair opposite Doug.
It seems to be a foregone conclusion that the Seahawks are going to look into getting a real, legitimate backup quarterback, so I really wonder how long they’re committed to waiting out the draft. One would assume this hypothetical QB will be a late-draft project, but I guess you never know. Teams seem to be particularly quarterback-crazy this year, so you have to wonder what will be left over after the good meat has been picked off the bone. And, finally, while I don’t want them to draft these positions, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to look into some of the top undrafted punters and kickers. Something tells me that WON’T happen, but I can dream, can’t I?
The point is, everywhere. There’s a need at every single spot, including offensive line, which I didn’t talk about, because I’m sick of talking about it. So, the Seahawks can do what they do best: stockpile picks, and take the best players available when it’s on them. We should have a lot to talk about later this week; I’m looking forward to it.