By Jared Stanger
Hello everybody! It’s been awhile. 2020 has been such an insane year that writing mock drafts, and even just keeping up on watching prospects, has really fallen so much by the wayside. But hopefully things are starting to settle down.
We can start to get an idea of what a Seahawks 2021 draft could look like. The first thing to do is to set the board. To my surprise; Seattle currently looks to be starting with five picks. The big headlines told us that the 1st and 3rd rounders this year are gone (to NY in the Jamal Adams trade), then there was the trade that brought Carlos Dunlap here, and thank God they took BJ Finney as part of the deal so that draftwise we only lost a 7th rounder. But, what was somewhat forgotten was that we had gained a 2021 7th rounder in exchange for our 2020 5th rounder in the Quandre Diggs trade last year. So we’re still left with one of two 7th’s, plus native 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th round picks.
I worked out a rough estimate of conditional pick allotment per round expected for this year, so that I can more accurately approximate Seattle’s current projected pick locations. The resulting numbers go: 2.60, 4.127, 5.166, 6.208, 7.249. After that, I’ll project one trade back just to get the inventory up a bit. We’ll do #60 to Houston for pick #3.68 + #4.121.
I think draft boards across the league are going to vary more widely this year than ever before. We have too many unknown variables with how teams will value players that opted out of 2020 vs players they actually got to scout this season. Gonna be some wide discrepancies between teams targeting high ceilings and teams targeting safe, high floors. Players they know more accurately where they’re at in their development vs players they simply THINK have more upside based on 2019.
Sketching out a rough snapshot of what is available here, as well as considering what positions this draft class has most depth in that could be found later, I sort of come down to an OT or a DL here.
This draft is slowly building a nice group of undervalued, true Defensive Ends. By that, I’m not talking 250lb linebackers that rush the QB…I’m talking guys that are 265-285lbs and tall/long (some could also rep as 3tech). Many of those guys don’t have a ton of hype right now, and certainly there isn’t a consensus of what order and how early they come off.
The problem is…Seattle has drafted a bunch of these types recently, and for various reasons none are currently working. Collier might be a useful piece, but it’s looking more and more like he should be inside at passrush DT. Green led the team in sacks last year, but has basically done nothing this year. Taylor has literally done nothing this year and I’m starting to worry about another Malik McDowell pick. And Robinson seems decent, but also that he’s not in the coaches good graces. Would I bypass drafting another one of this type? No. Would Pete/John? Probably.
Just for point of documentation; I’ll mention Vandy DL Dayo Odeyingbo as a guy that is currently discussed about this range and that I really like. A few years ago I really coveted Preston Smith for Seattle; he ended up going #38 overall…Dayo gives me the same vibe as Preston did, and he may also end up going earlier like Preston did.
This leaves me with Offensive Tackle. I don’t like the high-end OT availability this year, but I think taking a shot in the 3rd round makes more sense. I’m currently sitting on two OT that I think are sneaky upside players. One, is definitely not currently projected this early, but may be after the Combine. The other guy is one I’ve been on for a while, and I think he already fits this value.
Offensive Tackle, UNI, Spencer Brown
Spencer is a monster. Listed 6’9″/322lbs and carrying it really well. I think he’s got plenty of athleticism…good footspeed and strong upperbody, and some very underrated flexibility. Out of all the OT I’ve watched this year; I think Brown has the worst temperament. By that I mean: he’s the nastiest. He played RT for UNI last year, but I wonder if he couldn’t be a future LT. We need to replace Duane Brown in these next two drafts, so getting one in the 3rd this year, with a year to redshirt him, would be a coup. But the floor, I think, might be a Lane Johnson at RT.
This particular spot in the draft…early-to-mid 4th round, at the beginning of day 3 of the draft…is typically one of the most efficient drafting chunks. Teams will frequently go really hard Best Player Available after thinking about the pick all night after day 2.
In my sketch I had a couple CB I liked here, I had some WR, could be a few RB, and this might be the last chance at OT before that group falls off the cliff (if you haven’t already addressed it earlier). I think this year you can find CB later than this. You can kinda always find WR. RB we may talk about momentarily.
At OT, my Combine winner wildcard is BYU RT Chandon Herring. No one is currently talking about him, so he’s no where near the 4th round at the moment. I barely see him spoken about as draftable. Projecting him here is me anticipating a bump from UDFA to middle of the draft. Maybe a good Combine raises him up higher than this…maybe it only raises him from UDFA to 5th. But I feel like this is solid middle-ground.
If you decide to go DL in the 3rd; Herring is my fallback at OT. But, if you go OT in the 3rd; my fallback for the 4th might be DL. I talked earlier about the true DE’s in this class…I think the depth of that spot extends further down than here. But, with this pick I’m trying to hit that George Kittle guy. Someone/something that is undervalued either in general or in this class, which creates a wormhole for him to fall this fall, but with more talent than you should be able to find here.
Defensive End, Buffalo, Malcolm Koonce
Malcolm is listed 6’3″/250lbs. He is more the OLB/LEO type than what is more commonly found in this class. That size/profile seems to be falling out of favor in the league. Teams lately are more interested in guys like Marcus Davenport or Yetur Gross Matos (or, ahem, Darrell Taylor), than Josh Uche, Zack Baun, Chase Winovich, Maxx Crosby. And, really, a version of Crosby is what you’re hoping for here…6’3″-6’5″, 245-255lb, DE/OLB out of the MAC Conference that you can pull from the 4th round, who turns into a 10 sack per year player.
Much like the previous pick…we’re just looking for that Kittle player. RB, like TE, is a position where talent is often overlooked until later in drafts. Be it our own Chris Carson, or Marlon Mack, or Aaron Jones, or James Conner…it’s not unheard of to find RB talent after pick #100.
Running Back, Oklahoma, Rhamondre Stevenson
I think there are a handful of RB that will be available here that I’d be interested in, but Rhamondre is the one I’d be most ecstatic for (and probably least likely to fall this far). With Carson coming quickly into free agency and currently no deal; not to mention all of the RB injuries again this year (including Carson); any self-respecting “balanced pass/run” team needs to get a RB pretty much every year.
Mondre is listed 6’0″/246lbs. Which is crazy for how well he moves. I haven’t found much I don’t like about his tape, and hopefully his limited work in 2020 (50 carries in 3 games after missing the first 5 games with injury) will let him fall a bit.
This is the easiest pick for me this mock.
Cornerback, Central Arkansas, Robert Rochell
Rochell is listed 6’2″/195lbs, he visually looks to have the prerequisite 32″ arms, and his athleticism will be eye-popping at the Combine. Getting him this late is the only question. Fortunately, in a sense, he hasn’t played much in 2020 due to non-existent season for his conference, and his 2019 tape is at his small school.
This pick is such a shot in the dark. In terms of players declaring, draftstock months from now, and what will be surrounding this spot. But, as a general rule, I feel safe thinking that there will be some WR that I like still on the board. This year is very strong in slot WR, but I don’t have a strong feel for which ones aren’t valued as high as the rest. So this pick I’m not projecting a slot guy, but instead going with someone I feel more confident will be available this late.
Wide Receiver, Nevada, Romeo Doubs
Romeo is listed at 6’2″/200lbs, which could be what is missing on a roster with 5’10” Lock and 6’4″ Metcalf. Doubs is a Junior, so I am going out on a limb a bit thinking he’ll declare, but if he does declare the value is right. The intent is sort of trying to find this year’s Travis Fulgham. I like that Doubs is consistently running the right side go-route, as Lock and Metcalf seem stronger, for whatever reason, on the left. He’d be another awesome deep threat for Russell.
The defense has been such a disaster in 2020. We’ve seen some progress on the passrush since the addition of Dunlap, but the corners are still huge questionmarks. Both Griffin and Dunbar are impending free agents, and I’m not sure you can pay either of them. They probably will pay one, but certainly the position needs reinforcements. And two shots at it could be a smart move in this deep CB class. This pick is one of my personal favorites in the entire draft.
Cornerback, Pitt, Jason Pinnock
I like Pin because he’s got the right size, 6’0″/200, he’s got excellent technique, but he’s also basically unspoken for in the draft community. So he’ll almost definitely be available where Seattle likes to find their Corners…day 3. I think there is a very high floor here…he may never become a Seattle starting Left CB, but I feel safe that he would be a solid Right CB in our scheme.
#3.68 – OT Spencer Brown
#4.121 – DE Malcolm Koonce
#4.127 – RB Rhamondre Stevenson
#5.166 – CB Robert Rochell
#6.208 – WR Romeo Doubs
#7.249 – CB Jason Pinnock