New Year Mock Draft

By Jared Stanger

Welcome to 2018. It’s a new year, it’s potentially a new look Seattle Seahawks, so it’s time for a new mock draft.

In 2017, I had generally stuck to constructing mock drafts that I would make. This mock draft is more representative of what I think Seattle will do.

Let’s start with where they stand today (before comp picks are added across the league):

#1.18, #4.114, #5.132, #5.138, #5.158, #7.200, #7.219

I’m guessing a bit on the 7th round picks because there was movement on about 4 unique picks, and it’s not entirely clear which picks were moved (and/or re-moved) in which deals. But I believe after adding 7’s for Kearse, Brock, Marsh, and losing 7’s for Coleman and Battle; there should be two 7’s remaining. I’m using the Jets and Vikings 7’s in this mock.

Seattle has secured the #18 overall pick. I think they NEED to trade enough so that they end up with three picks in the top 80 overall (I’d prefer four, but tough to do). This may include trading veteran players. Trading #18 can get you to about #33 + #63 + #129, which is two picks in the 2nd plus first pick in the 5th (all from Cleveland, now run by John Dorsey, a friend of the family). Then, I need to trade a vet that will net you at least a 3rd. That type of trade would (hopefully) also clear some cap space.

As I look at the cap situation (which is not my forte), the best vet players to trade without further hurting future cap, but also potentially netting a 3rd round pick, are in order:

Tyler Lockett
KJ Wright
Earl Thomas
Germain Ifedi

Earl should draw more than a 3rd. Ifedi might not get a 3rd, but he would be my first choice if he could. Lock and KJ are right about that 3rd round range. After his Dallas outburst, I would do a deal for Earl. But this is the “what would Seattle do” mock, so there is no way Pete parts with Earl. I’m gonna do the deal for Lock. I will send him to San Francisco for the #71 overall (might also consider Carolina).

After two trades, the board now looks more like:

#2.33, #2.63, #3.71, #4.114, #5.129, #5.132, #5.138, #5.158, #7.200, #7.219

I think there’s some wiggle room there to move a couple 5th’s, or a 5th and the 4th, to move up once towards the #90-100 range. That would be a day-of decision. For now, I won’t make that trade up. Let’s get to it.

#33 – Alabama RB Damien Harris

I have a pretty short list of the RB’s I think Seattle is highest on, and of that list, that would be available AND correct value at #33, I think Harris is the guy.

A power back at 5’11″/221lbs, but with speed that will surprise people at the combine, Harris is what I estimate to be Seattle’s ideal type of RB. Nick Chubb and Royce Freeman are in that same vein if they want to try to wait for a bit more value. But Harris is the one I think they like. He doesn’t have as much tread-wear as Freeman, and he doesn’t have the injury history that Chubb has.

And he’s just flat out good.

#63 – Wake Forest DE Duke Ejiofor

I really think this pick comes down to two players: Ejiofor and Texas S Deshon Elliott. And both could be gone before here. I feel less confident that Elliott will be available. If replacing Kam is a higher priority, Elliott might be the pick at #33 and then you try to get Chubb or Freeman at #63.

I’m also going DE here because I think it’s a pretty big need. Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril both sound to be on the verge of retiring and/or being cut. That’s a lot of passrush needing to be replaced. If Seattle stays in the 1st round, my guess is that their primary target would be a DE (one of the Clemson guys…maybe a Junior we haven’t heard declare yet).

My personal opinion is that Ejiofor isn’t far off from some of the 1st-round projected DE. He gives you comparable size (6’4″/275lbs), comparable production (6.5 sacks, 16.5 TFL, 9 hurries), with a bit of upside still left on the bone, but at a 2nd round price. He also has experience rushing inside as a 3T (very much a Bennett type).

This is one of my favorite olimpico sacks from all of 2018:

#71 – Maryland WR DJ Moore

With the pick acquired by trading Lockett, I’m acquiring a WR that more resembles a thicker combination of Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin, while also giving you some return ability.

DJ Moore is 5’11″/215lbs, finished 2017 with 80 catches for 1033 yards and 8 TD’s, was #20 in the country in punt returns at 10.20ypr, had some snaps as a true RB (5×61 yards, 1 TD), and was one of the best tackle-breaking WR I’ve seen since Golden. He was the clear #1 weapon on a team without many weapons, and he still got his touches. These are all things that I think Seattle values.

#114- Oregon OT Tyrell Crosby

In researching this mock I checked around at where most of my guys were tracking in terms of value. Winning the draft is generally not about nailing your first round pick. It’s about identifying great 2nd and 3rd round picks (Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson) that allow you some leeway in the 1st.

I’ve had Tyrell as a 2nd rounder for some time, but it turns out many others are valuing him a couple rounds later. Draftscout has him as their #137 overall, another site had him like at #180. Maybe those are outdated and his stock has risen. Maybe that’s closer to market rate. In this mock, I’m going to take it as market rate and get someone I really value at a steep discount.

I recently went back to rewatch tape of Tyrell as a Right Tackle. I wanted to see if he had any kind of issue going right side vs left side like some OL do. I watched tape of him in both his 2014 playoff game and in the National Championship game vs eventual #3 overall pick Joey Bosa. Even as a freshman, I thought Tyrell held up extremely well vs the competition. I make this pick with plans to do what New Orleans did with Ryan Ramczyk: starter at RT with ability to step in as LT if injury pops up. Ifedi goes to the bench.

Another option at #114 could be Virginia Tech LG Wyatt Teller. If Joeckel walks, or you can’t afford him, you could try to leave Ifedi at RT and draft Teller or Crosby to play LG.

#129 – USC DE Rasheem Green

I think I’d like to get a Safety here, but I really don’t think any available fit the value. So I’m double-dipping on the Michael Bennett type DE/DT hybrids. Green is identical to Ejiofor at 6’4″/275lbs, but in my studying played far more DT for USC than DE. I think that was misuse. I never truly saw him develop as an interior player. But Green was a highly touted recruit that posted a very good production year: 12.5 TFL, 10.0 sacks, 5 hurries, 4 PBU. And I have a good sense that Seattle is interested.

#132 – Oklahoma State WR Marcell Ateman

Some picks you make because you have a dropoff at the position expected shortly after, some picks you make because they are right in the sweet spot of a position group’s value range. This is the latter. I look at the big board and see a nice swathe of value on WR in this range. You could pull the trigger here, or you could wait for #138 if you sense a run on a shallower position group that needs to be at #132 instead.

With Lockett “traded”, PRich a free agent (potentially replaced by David Moore), and McEvoy a huge disappointment in year two; I’m also double-dipping at WR because I think the draft warrants it. WR targets at this range could include: Cedrick Wilson, Auden Tate, Marcell Ateman, Jaleel Scott.

Honestly, I like that whole group. Cedrick probably the least impressive on 50/50 balls, but could closer approximate a taller PRich. The other three are bigger, slower guys, but that all show very well in the air. I think Ateman is the most well-rounded of the three, with Tate being probably the best pure receiver. Kind of a coin flip. Until Tate actually declares, I think I’ll go with Ateman. But in future mocks…may reverse that.

#138 – Notre Dame TE Durham Smythe

This is a need position, but not in a great year for it. So I think you take a flyer on a guy with good fundamentals, that may surprise once he’s out of the disaster that is the Notre Dame passing game. If you can get a Zach Miller out of a 5th round pick, I think that’s solid. If you can get a Luke Willson, well you’re at least par for the course.

#158 – Ohio State QB JT Barrett

I think Barrett is very underrated. I think his floor will be a great backup, but his upside is somewhere in the Tyrod Taylor-Dak Prescott vein.

#200 – Tulane CB Parry Nickerson

I like this draft, in general, for a Justin Coleman type CB. I think you can find that body-type and skillset throughout the draft. I think I’d prefer to target this job in the 6th round, but Seattle has no 6th. I think the two best options are Nickerson and VT’s Greg Stroman. Both are identical 6’0″/180lbs.

Nickerson gives a bit more ball-skills with 6 INT and better tackling ability.¬†Stroman perhaps the better cover guy, and gives you the additional benefit of a punt returner (11.34ypr, 2 TD). Another coin flip. I go Nickerson on my sense that he’s a tougher personality.

#219 – North Carolina LB Cayson Collins

Last pick of the draft, we go for some athletic LB depth that could contribute early-on for special teams, and potentially play some WILL down the road.

Final tally:

#33 – RB Damien Harris
#63 – DE Duke Ejiofor
#71 – WR DJ Moore
#114 – OT Tyrell Crosby
#128 – DE Rasheem Green
#132 – WR Marcell Ateman
#138 – TE Durham Smythe
#158 – QB JT Barrett
#200 – CB Parry Nickerson
#219 – LB Cayson Collins

After skewing 6 defense (including 4 of first 5, and 6 of first 8), 5 offense in 2017; I have Seattle flipping that to 6 offense, 4 defense in 2018. It fits more in-line with what this class is providing. We don’t have them drafting a DT or a S, but they drafted two of each in 2017. It might be unlikely for them to draft two WR (after drafting two in 2017), but as I described; I have PRich an UFA with a high price tag, McEvoy cut for lack of performance, and Tyler Lockett victim of trade to add picks.