By Jared Stanger
We’re almost through week 6 of the NFL season, and it’s been a full 7 weeks in the college game, so we’re starting to get a stronger idea of draft prospects. We also have a good idea of draft positions. The Seahawks (prior to Denver playing MNF) hold 9 picks including two 1’s, two 2’s, and two 5’s. The overall board (prior to compensatory picks) stands at: #1.12, #1.14, #2.44, #2.45, #3.82, #4.113, #5.138, #5.144, #6.175. Let’s see what kind of fun we can get into.
As I have been tracking the draft pick positions weekly, there has been a lot of time where the native Seattle pick and the 1st acquired from Denver in the Russell Wilson trade have fallen back-to-back. That isn’t the case as I write this after the Seahawks win to go to 3-3 on the year, and Denver has yet to play while sitting at 2-3. If they should eventually return to being neighboring picks; the order the two players come off is semantics, and could even be discussed as 12a and 12b, or whatever the number is.
#1.12 – DE, Kansas State, Felix Anudike Uzomah
There are two position groups that seem pretty obvious targets as I track where the Seattle scouting department is every week. The group that currently seems the most-heavily scouted is not quarterback. It’s defensive end. The team is due to lose LJ Collier and Darryl Johnson to free agency. The roster already holds roughly 3 other DE with similar profile to Collier: Shelby Harris at 6’2″/288lbs, Quinton Jefferson at 6’4″/291lbs, and Myles Adams at 6’2″/290lbs.
The Darryl Johnson profile is more 6’6″/255lbs. Similar on the roster include IR guys Alton Robinson 6’3″/259lbs, Tyreke Smith 6’3″/255lbs, PS player Bruce Irvin 6’3″/258lbs, and active roster Boye Mafe 6’4″/261lbs, Uchenna Nwosu 6’2″/251lbs, Darrell Taylor 6’4″/267lbs.
So it kind of resembles two pretty different groups, but it also lacks the kind of profile that splits the difference at around 6’4″/275lbs. This list in terms of college players could include Isaiah Foskey 6’5″/265lbs, Myles Murphy 6’5″/275lbs, Tyree Wilson 6’6″/275lbs, DJ Johnson 6’4″/270lbs, Yaya Diaby 6’4″/270lbs. I think that is actually the profile Seattle is targeting highest, but targeting and acquiring are not the same. If the profile, the talent, and the availability don’t align…you pivot. This is a mild pivot.
Felix Anudike Uzomah is really starting to make a name for himself in draft circles. He’s actually a pretty good marker for the quality of a mock draft. At 6’4″/255lbs and with 6.5 sacks in 6 games in 2022; FAU is the right mix of size, athleticism, intangibles and production to warrant a high first round pick.
I’ve had my eyes on Hendon Hooker for just over a year now, and not only has his on-field performance elevated this season, but his draft stock is finally catching up. At 6’4″/218lbs, Hendon is built like you want them to be. At 4.86ypc he can run like you want them to when needed. At 70% completion, 10.7 ypa, and 15 TD to 1 INT he’s efficient and disciplined as a passer like you want. And he’s as tough as they come. This is a no-brainer for me.
#2.44 – CB, Illinois, Devon Witherspoon
This might be the toughest pick to make this draft. Hawks could look to improve at linebacker, they could try to improve their run-stuffing or passrush from the interior DL, they could look to improve depth behind club controlled but injured or ineffective players at WR/DS/CB/RB. My pick goes to cornerback as there are no fewer than five CB on the roster that are gonna be free agents.
Devon Witherspoon is a 6’0″/180lb redshirt junior corner with 11 PBU and 1 INT through 7 games in 2022. In 2021 he also showed a ton of tackling skill when he averaged 5.2 tackles per game plus 8.0 TFL.
#2.45 – OC, Minnesota, John Michael Schmitz
I have no particular intel to think Seattle will finally make a move on a new center, after two years of passing on very good centers at very good value, but they do have two impending free agents in Austin Blythe and Kyle Fuller. They’re also due to lose guard Phil Haynes. None of these players would be expensive and could probably be retained if wanted. I’m going with the draftpick cause I just really like Schmitz’ tape and it would be cool to have LT-OC-RT locked up for the next 3.5 years.
Schmitz is listed 6’4″/320lbs. Smart player. Crazy consistent on tape. Not a nasty player per se, which sometimes you like in your OL, but I can pass on that at center in favor of nasty guards. Also worth noting that his Minnesota squad is a top 20 rushing attack in the country.
#3.82 – SS, Boise State, JL Skinner
JL Skinner is a huge box safety with great motor, ball skills, and a penchant for laying the wood. I love this guy’s intangibles, too. It’d be so fun to have a 6’4″/224lb safety again.
#4.113 – RB, UCLA, Zach Charbonnet
This is probably the easiest pick of this mock. I simply love Charbonnet’s game. He’s a 6’1″/220lb sledgehammer of a runner that is also one of the more explosive backs in this class at 7.07ypc. With Rashaad Penny a free agent who has been frequently injured; I’m just not coming out of this draft without another back. The Oklahoma lead runner Eric Gray would be another intriguing option here.
#5.138 – DE, Oregon, Brandon Dorlus
These last few picks are more about filling in some gaps that you missed on earlier. Preferably with good athlete upside. Dorlus is a 6’3″/290lb DL with inside/outside versatility.
#5.144 – DT, Penn State, PJ Mustipher
Mustipher is a 6’4″/318lb run-stuffer I’m bringing in to help replace the free agent Poona Ford.
#6. 175 – LB, Arkansas, Drew Sanders
I very much doubt Drew Sanders is still available this late, but in the reference mock I used to ground all of these pick values he was. At 6’5″/233lbs Sanders has a big frame that could probably even carry 15 more lbs. He can passrush (6.5 sacks, 6 hurries), he can cover a little bit (3 PBU), and he can turn the ball over (3 FF).