By Jared Stanger
There’s something else minor going on today…I forget what…so I’ll cut with the fanfare, and get to the mock.
The first thing I’ve identified is a lack of value where Seattle currently sits at #72 in the early 3rd round. I think you can find the same value in the late 3rd, and I really like the depth in the 4th. So I’m targeting trade back from 72. I like the range of picks the Kansas City Chiefs have. They should have two 3rd’s (with their native pick plus a compensatory), and they could have three to four picks in the 7th. Seattle trades #3.72 to KC for picks #3.92, #3.102, and #7.231.
#2.41 – Defensive Tackle, UConn, Travis Jones
It is very tempting to take Baylor all-purpose DB Jalen Pitre here. I think he’s a very clean prospect with a high floor and higher upside. But Jones is perhaps more of a need as a big-bodied DT that can provide some passrush from the Nose spot. He’s got the ideal measurements at 6’4″/326lbs with 34″ arms. Travis was arguably the biggest winner from the week at the Senior Bowl, proving he could not only hang with but beat guys from the SEC, etc.
#3.94 – Center, Kentucky, Luke Fortner
I really only started looking at Fortner the week before the Senior Bowl and was very impressed. Fortner was really the only true center on either Senior Bowl team, so he had a bit of a leg-up, but I still think he came away looking like one of the best values in the class. With Pocic a free agent, and Seattle really needing to spend their cap surplus at other positions; I’d love to find a rookie contract replacement. Fortner measured in at 6’3″/302lbs with 33″ arms. He’s got great feet and a very solid anchor.
#3.102 – Defensive Line, Kentucky, Josh Paschal
For whatever reason, we end up with back-to-back picks from Kentucky. I’m not sure if Paschal lasts to this point. I think his tape suggests 2nd round, but his health history could put teams off until they feel safer taking the chance. Paschal was listed 6’3″/278lbs last year, and showed the versatility to play inside and outside. With Rasheem Green a free agent, Kerry Hyder a potential cap-casualty, Seattle needs to find that profile again. Paschal is, at minimum, an incredible run defender, but there’s enough evidence on tape to think he’ll be able to passrush as well.
#4.105 – Cornerback, Alabama, Jalyn Armour-Davis
It’s no secret Seattle needs help at Corner. DJ Reed = Free Agent. Sidney Jones = Free Agent. Tre Brown = patellar tendon injury. And then here comes a new DB coach…Karl Scott (technically ‘defensive passing game coordinator’). Scott was the DB coach for Alabama from 2018-2020, which means he was likely part of the recruitment of Armour-Davis to Alabama in 2018. At minimum, he coached him for JAD’s first three years in college.
I don’t have a great feel for how the league values Jalyn. He’s a former 4-star player, who played at Alabama (known for recent DB’s like Diggs, Surtain, Fitzpatrick, etc), but seems to have zero buzz. I was actually a little surprised he declared this year, as he really only had one year starting, and the aforementioned lack of buzz. But with the ties to Scott and the upside; I really like this fit.
When I initially sketched out this mock with the trade; I was happy going from 6 to 8 picks with the KC trade, but as I’m writing it…I need another pick. A 5th would be fine. Let’s send #112 to Green Bay for one of their 4th’s and their 5th, #4.130 + #5.170.
#4.130 – Offensive Tackle, NDSU, Cordell Volson
This is another huge need for the Seahawks coming out of the draft. Seattle has free agents in starting LT Duane Brown, starting RT Brandon Shell, and backup swing Jamarco Jones. If I’m Pete/John I’m strongly considering spending a healthy chunk of their cap space and going and getting Terron Armstead to play LT, which would allow them to focus on RT or swing OT in the draft.
Volson is a nicely proportioned athlete with good balance in his technique and his run/pass blocking ability. Some think he’s a guard, but I like his tape at RT. Overall, a well-rounded player.
#5.151 – Running Back, Baylor, Abram Smith
I’ve been on-board with Abram for most of the 2021 season, and I still think he’s one of the best values in this draft, any position. I think there’s shades of Chris Carson to his game. With Carson injured and Penny a free agent; Seattle has to come out of this draft with a RB at some point. And it’s a good draft to do it.
#5.170 – Defensive Back, UCLA, Quentin Lake
Lake is a personal favorite of mine, but I’m going rogue on this one. I liked Lake’s tape at Free Safety, and maybe you play him there, but I’m drafting him with plans to train him full-time to play Corner. Quentin impressed the hell out of me with his press-man reps at the Shrine Game. Arms are a little short, but after drafting Tre Brown last year, that isn’t a deal-breaker. Plus, I like adding this guy to our locker room.
#7.226 – Tightend, Wisconsin, Jake Ferguson
Much like Abram and the RB class, Ferguson is the value play for this very solid TE class. I love Trey McBride at the top, I love Greg Dulcich if you could get him in the late-3rd (but probably can’t), and there are a handful of others you’re okay with at the right round value. I really was impressed with what Fergie did at the Senior Bowl, in addition to how smart of a player he will be in the film room. I like the hands, I like the routes, and I like the run-blocking.
#2.231 – Free Safety, Baylor, JT Woods
The Seahawks have some more issues coming at Safety with Quandre Diggs a free agent (who they probably pay), Ryan Neal a quality backup they may or may not pay, and then an interesting possibility of cap-cutting Ugo Amadi or Marquise Blair. Blair would dead-money $600k while saving you $1.3mill, and Amadi would dead-money only $161k while saving you $2.5mill. Maybe you cut both of the latter, pay Neal, and draft Woods.
JT Woods is a guy that will probably rise out of this range once he tests at the combine. Could be a 4.3 guy. He tied for the national lead in INT last year with 6. And showed a penchant for clutch-ness with an INT in both the Baylor bowl game, and the game-sealing INT in the Senior Bowl. This would be a hell of a 7th round get, if it came to fruition.
DT Travis Jones
OC Luke Fortner
DL Josh Paschal
CB Jalyn Armour-Davis
OT Cordell Volson
RB Abram Smith
DB Quentin Lake
TE Jake Ferguson
FS JT Woods