By Jared Stanger
Seattle sports scene has been a depressing place to be the last couple months and feeling excitement about the future of both major sports franchises has been difficult to conjure. But today marks the beginning of Spring Training games and tomorrow begins the month of March, and with each hopefully will come some new vibes.
In that spirit I present only my second Seahawks mock draft of this cycle. When I last presented this I wasn’t even fully accurate on the number of draftpicks the Seahawks hold this year. I believe, now, that the correct number is: four. While the league is still waiting on announcement of compensatory picks; it isn’t expected that Seattle will be receiving any of those. The comp picks will only serve to mark the accurate placement of all picks after the 3rd round. So, other than the 2nd, these Seattle pick placements are rough estimates of where they will land after comp picks are added for the league.
I currently have the board as: #2.56, #4.123, #5.161, #7.244.
Pete and John have never shown enough confidence or trust in their drafting to go this concentrated. They want more shots on the clock than this. So we can expect multiple trades. I wonder about them trading a currently rostered player to add some of those picks, but I don’t have a strong feeling for who those players are. Carlos Dunlap seems like a valuable piece who also happens to carry the 3rd-highest cap hit on the roster. The 5th-highest is Jarran Reed. In one sense, I’d rather trade Jarran than Carlos based on perceived impact to the on-field play, but I think it relevant to note that this is a pretty awful DT draft class. Conversely, there could be quite a few players with similar profiles/abilities to Dunlap available even as deep as 4th-5th round.
I’m not going to get into a conversation about trusting John/Pete to replace Dunlap when they’ve missed in varying degrees on guys like Malik McDowell, LJ Collier, Darrell Taylor. I think this is just a blanket statement you could make about all positions. I’m just going to write with an assumption of competence and hope that they’ll finally put together another great draft class.
Really, I’m making a concerted effort to make this specific mock about players that I trust on a deeper level. I’m not going to get too explicit explaining what that means, but just know there is a certain thought going into this group. Sometimes that means going contrary to what I think Pete would do, but it also means sometimes going contrary to my own initial thoughts.
I’m not going to go too far into the trading around. I’ll do one trade back from their first pick, and then try to make things work. So, from #56, I will move back to the Packers #61 which should also give them enough leftover value to also get a 4th (#131) and a 6th (#211).
#2.61, #4.123, #4.131 #5.161, #6.211, #7.244
I think there are a bunch of directions free agency could force Pete/John to go in for their first pick. Replacing Chris Carson/Carlos Hyde at RB. Replacing Shaquill Griffin/Quinton Dunbar at CB. Maybe adding to the edge rush. Maybe trying to give the TE room a legit weapon with the loss of Olsen and Hollister, and the new offensive coordinator in mind.
I think there is enough depth in this CB class to wait on that. I don’t love the value of RB or TE this early. I like the value of DE around this range, but I’m not sure the team will see it as a need right now. Personally, I’m not coming out of this draft without reinforcements for the OL, which is also losing one starter to retirement and one to free agency (for now). Plus, it’s an olive branch to Russell Wilson.
In the previous mock I was looking to gain a future tackle piece from a solid OT class, but recently I’m seeing the OT board falling away. Especially with the trade back. So we pivot to the interior OL. It’s a pretty solid Center class as well, with three OC likely coming off the board between 50-80: Landon Dickerson, Josh Myers, Creed Humphrey. Quinn Meinerz coming from the small school probably falls later. Of the first three: Humphrey may be the best pass-blocker, Myers may be the best run-blocker, and Dickerson may have the best intangibles. I’m not sure there’s a loss among them, so the decision may come down to who is still on the board.
#2.61 – Ohio State, Center, Josh Myers
The Buckeyes were one of the top 10 most effective run-game offenses in the country last year, and their scheme is potentially a shade of what we could see from the Seahawks going forward; so the incorporation of Myers might be an ideal fit. Myers has good size at 6’5″/312lbs, he’s a nice athlete for the position, and he plays with an edge.
#4.123 – Mississippi State, Running Back, Kylin Hill
I’m a very big Chris Carson fan. I think he’s super underrated locally and across the league. But I think we’re about to find out where he’s underrated more as he works his way through his first free agency. I’m having trouble, with all that is going on within the roster, seeing the team giving Carson a multi-year deal. At best, maybe they tag him to delay his departure a year. So I’m looking hard for replacements in this draft. The two best fits would be Najee Harris and Javonte Williams, but I just don’t know that I can spend the draftpick they would cost to acquire. When you turn to the next tier; I think you’re looking at Rhamondre Stevenson and Kylin Hill. Rhamondre feels like the guy Pete is gonna covet more, but I’m rolling with Kylin.
What you’re hoping for here is a nice middle ground between like a 3rd round Kareem Hunt and a 5th round Aaron Jones. Kareem was about 5’11″/216lbs with a 4.62s forty…Aaron was about 5’9″/208lbs with a 4.56s forty. I’d take Kylin at 5’10″/212lbs with anything under a 4.59s forty.
When I’m watching RB’s; I’m looking for a few major keys. 1) running the ball (obviously), 2) catching the ball, 3) pass protection. #1 tells me I can use him on 1st down. #2 tells me I can use him on 2nd down. #3 tells me I can use him on 3rd down and long.
#5.131 – Buffalo, Edge, Malcolm Koonce
If there can be such a thing as a luxury pick in a draft that began with only 4 picks; this is mine. I just really like Koonce as a player and he’s a bit of a profile that we don’t have on the roster right now. Listed at 6’3″/250lbs, Koonce would be the smallest edge rusher from a group that currently consists of 291lb Collier, 285lb Dunlap, 279lb Green, 265lb Mayowa, 260lb Moore, 267lb Taylor, 260lb Robinson. Maybe you include Shaquem in that group, but he’s the opposite direction at 227lbs. Depending on what they do with KJ Wright (I suspect they bring him back); you may also be able to try Malcolm at SAM next to Wagner and Brooks for a look more reminiscent of earlier years Bruce Irvin.
Speaking of Bruce….check the second clip:
#5.161 – Ole Miss, Tightend, Kenny Yeboah
For whatever reason; I thought Seattle had a good tightend room last year, but then kinda didn’t use any of them much. And it seemed to me using the TE would have been a good way to break teams out of their Cover 2 shells that seemed to baffle Pete/Schotty/Russ all second half of last season. I think the new OC will bring some changes in this specific regard. But we’re still gonna need more bodies. Olsen has gone off to hold a microphone fulltime. Hollister will probably go on to drop balls fulltime somewhere else. Dissly is coming off his healthiest season so far, but that’s always gonna be a question mark for him. And then Parkinson got no work and therefore no film, so he’s a giant question mark.
My guess is they’ll look to sign somebody inexpensive at the spot from the free agent pool, and then draft another guy. Kenny Yeboah really intrigues me. He played 2020 at Ole Miss listed at 6’4″/240lbs. I happen to know he’s now up over 251lbs. But I think it’s too much weight, too fast. He needs to get back down to like 245 and he’ll be fine.
Yeboah brings an interesting skillset. He was one of the most explosive TE in the country last year averaging 19.41 yards per catch with 6 TD in 8 games. And he also was a very good blocker for his size. We’ll first look at the blocking:
And now the receiving. I love this little delayed slant. Cover 2 buster for sure.
I love that he put up great tape vs Alabama, too.
#6.211 – Pittsburgh, Cornerback, Jason Pinnock
Jason Pinnock is a guy I’ve been following for a while and is finding himself as the odd-man out in one of the best CB classes in like a decade. He is worth so much more than this pick position. I liken him very much to Byron Maxwell, who Seattle took in the 6th round in 2011. BMax was 6’0″/202lbs, ran a 4.43s forty with 33″ vert and 10’4″ broad. That’s the floor. But Pinnock has a bit more athleticism and therefore may climb up into the 4th or 5th. In combine training, Pin has been tested with a 4.48s forty, 40″ vert and 10’8″ broad at 6’1″/205lbs. He also hit a 6.58s three-cone which is absurd for a guy that size (Doug Baldwin had a 6.56).
Corner is a position of need for the team and it’s a deep draft class, so I’m neither forcing an early pick at the spot, nor letting my board fall completely away. If I’m on the clock in either of my 4th round picks and only have 1-2 names left on my corner board; I’m willing to take Pinnock there, as well.
#7.244 – South Dakota State, Wide Receiver, Cade Johnson
I don’t know who in this WR class will fall this far, but I feel like odds are someone will. There are SOOO many WR this year. Maybe it’s a Shi Smith, maybe it’s a Damonte Coxie coming off a missed season due to injury, etc. I just think we want to look for a guy that can become a reliable target over the middle. Lock and DK have proven they can be the deep threats. Now go get someone that can work intermediate between the seams. I like Cade as a value play on day 3. He has a lot of the same traits as Lock, but he had no 2020 season due to the school he attended being FCS, which could mean he drops.
#2.61- OC Josh Myers
#4.123- RB Kylin Hill
#4.131- DE/OLB Malcolm Koonce
#5.161- TE Kenny Yeboah
#6.211- CB Jason Pinnock
#7.244- WR Cade Johnson