By Jared Stanger
Welcome to the Seahawks’ bye week downtime. With no game to watch, I’ve taken the opportunity to write my midseason SeaMock.
We always need to start with where Seattle currently stands in the draft. And it’s kinda bad news. The Seahawks stand at drafting #16 overall…dead center of the round. That means they aren’t doing enough to make the playoffs, but also not doing little enough to get a top-10 pick. But that’s not the bad news.
That is the entirety of Seattle’s draft inventory for 2019. THAT’s the bad news. The 2nd rounder is in Houston for the Duane Brown trade. The 6th rounder is in Green Bay for the Brett Hundley trade. The 7th rounder is in Oakland for the Shalom Luani trade. There are currently no compensatory picks coming. This is what we’re working with (barring trade deadline sell-offs or cutting guys currently eliminating comp picks like Stephens or Dickson).
So clearly, we’re going to trade back the 1st. Or, at least, I am. Trading back is, in part, an acknowledgement of the strength of a draft class. If a class is 20-deep in the 1st you drop down four spots. If a class is 15 deep in the first tier you can drop down to the middle-to-late of the second tier (back of the 1st round…maybe to mid-2nd).
That, then, begs the question: “how do I evaluate this class?” I think it’s a good class. I judge this by a few things: 1) my own observation, 2) how a multitude of draft evaluators are observing this class. In the latter, I’m taking note of a very noticeable lack of consensus across the country. The lack of consensus could mean a shallow class where everyone is forcing guys UP into the 1st, or…it could be a deep class and there are legitimately more than 32 first round worthy players, and everyone is simply disagreeing on which 32. Combine the second option to my own observation, and we end up with a deep class.
From there, we try to decide HOW deep. Is it 25-32 deep? 40 deep? 45 deep? That specificity will come later. For now, I feel safe thinking it’s 30-32 deep. So that’s my trade-back range. Then comes the trade targets.
One way to target a trade partner that could come up in a round is to note who has the inventory? Who has an extra 1st or 2nd? Well, Green Bay has two picks in the 1st (theirs and the Saints’), and nine picks overall. New England has a 1st and two 2nd’s. Either of these teams currently sit at #29 and #30 overall. That’s a good range to hit.
And conveniently, those same two teams also own #54 and #55 overall…which added with 29/30 gets you pretty close to chart value for #16 (to be clear; Green Bay trade would be #30+#54, New England would be #29+#55). John Schneider has done trades with both of these teams in recent years, so that wouldn’t be an issue. Green Bay has more inventory. New England may be hunting for a higher pick to draft Brady’s successor. Coin flip…
Heads. I’ll do the Green Bay deal for #30 + #54. I think there will be more trades later in the draft to augment the late rounds, but this early in the draft process those late round players are pretty much a dart-toss anyways, so I’ll stick to mocking only 5 rounds today.
I think the position this player will be is pretty clear. Maybe there’s a 5% chance that things align correctly and like a Dre’mont Jones or Deionte Thompson falls and you go that direction, and then adjust in the 2nd, but for now…I’m planning on a DE in the 1st.
DE is a wonderfully deep position group this year, and doesn’t have much consensus after 1-Nick Bosa, 2-Clelin Ferrell. Some mocks go Zach Allen, some Brian Burns, some Josh Allen, some Jachai Polite, some Montez Sweat. That depth is good for teams in the actual draft, but bad for mocking the draft. Pretty tough to lock onto who comes off earlier, and therefore who will fall to later.
FSU DE Brian Burns
I’ve seen mocks with Burns off higher than this, but I think more often, due to his lighter weight, Burns is the one of this DE class that people are letting slide until later. Neither would surprise me.
But I like the value of Burns at this spot in the 1st. He’s got the passrushing chops to be a 1st, but he’s got the “defect” of being undersized (6’5″/235lbs) that would let him slide. And, with their history with Bruce Irvin, he’d make sense going to Seattle.
Here’s a quick little 2-play snapshot of some of Burns’ ability. 1) He’s consistently shown a pretty wicked spin move, and then 2) he’s got one of the best straight speed rushes in the class. Burns is currently 2nd in the country in sacks, and he’s also top-10 in forced fumbles…which is something that I think is becoming more useful in an NFL world where it’s illegal to hit the QB.
I’m also digging what I’m learning about Brian’s intangibles in between the plays. I think he’s more representative of the kind of Smart-Tough-Reliable players that Seattle targeted after shrinking down their draftboard in 2018. We’ll see if they keep that up in 2019 when there are quite a few intriguing players with some redflags.
This is a tough call. This is sort of like player development/bust game of chicken. I think this spot you need to consider pulling the plug on Germain Ifedi or Tedric Thompson. Even if those two have played at a replacement level this year; if you’re counting on them NOT regressing; you’re driving at a cliff and waiting until the last minute to jump out of the car.
Even if you let Ifedi play out his rookie deal and just don’t re-up him, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to draft his successor a year early. It is a pretty good OT class…especially if you’re thinking primarily RT.
NIU OT Max Scharping
I first noticed Scharping over the summer from his Junior tape, and as I’ve followed him this year he looks significantly better now as a senior. Ironically, he matched up vs Brian Burns a couple weeks ago.
And then this is Burns trying to use inside counter after using primarily outside speed rush. Scharping handles it really well.
Scharping is listed 6’6″/320lbs and reminds me of Ryan Ramczyk. You could probably use him similarly to how the Saints used Ramczyk in his rookie year, then start him in year two.
As of today, I’m currently looking at Seattle’s TE situation and thinking it’s in pretty bad shape. Dissly is out for the year, and even when he gets back next year he’s going to be slowed the same way Jimmy Graham was the first year after his patellar injury. Vannett has been pretty much a non-factor all year, even after two TE in front of him have been out with injury, AND he’s apparently dealing with some recurring back injury. Dickson has yet to play a snap. I don’t even know who the fuck else is on the roster right now.
The 2019 TE class isn’t highly thought of. But neither was 2018 and Seattle came out with Vannett who was having a huge year before his injury. I think there are TE gems to be mined from the 2019 class.
LSU TE Foster Moreau
I’m going with LSU’s Foster Moreau. 6’6″/256lbs and, like Dissly, known more for his blocking. But with sneaky receiving ability.
I’ve seen a lot of interest on the tweets from people wanting to draft another linebacker. I don’t relate. Wagz is a pro bowl player. Even if KJ walks; Mingo is under contract for another year and appears to be making a transition to playing more of the WILL spot. Shaquem, Martin, and Calitro are young and under club control with upside.
I think a more interesting play is looking for a WR5 to develop. I think there will be room for a big WR with Marshall moving on, but I’m not going to look for that, specifically. Instead, I’m just mocking a guy that is showing qualities I’m enjoying on tape.
OSU WR Terry McLaurin
The first thing I started noticing on McLaurin was his TD to catch ratio. At one point this year it was 6 TD on 13 catches. Currently he’s at 8 TD on 21 catches.
Then I noticed his depth of reception. Currently 25th in the country at 18.95ypc (and that was higher two weeks ago).
And THEN I noticed his blocking. This guy is just a solid team player. Like, give me good FOOTBALL PLAYERS and then find the plays they are good at making.
And I’m not overlooking his receiving.
I think a pass-rushing 3-tech is a pretty big need this year, and under the right circumstance(s) I’d draft one in the 1st, but I’m also watching the next guy and seeing his lack of recognition/buzz and drafting backwards. If I can get this guy in the 5th, let’s have some fun in the picks prior.
Cincinnati DL Cortez Broughton
Tez is one of the guys I spotted early, hit many of my attribute wishlist, and he’s been matching it with his play on the field. Although Cincy is using him a bit as a DE, and maybe he could take some of the snaps QJeff is currently playing at base DE, I think Broughton’s primary value is 3rd down 3-tech. He’s what we’re missing now with Michael Bennett gone.
Tez has 12.0 TFL and 4.0 sacks on the year…a pace for 22 TFL and 7-sack season, which is great from a DT.
1.30- DE Brian Burns
2.54- OT Max Scharping
3.78- TE Foster Moreau
4.113- WR Terry McLaurin
5.144- DT Cortez Broughton
They’ll need trades/trade-backs to fill in the 6th and 7th rounds where they can target DB’s and LB’s.