A review of updated mock drafts shows a lot of linemen and cornerbacks projected for the Seattle Seahawks.
Draft season started a little earlier than the Seattle Seahawks might have liked this year (though the reality is, little ever changes for the scouts and the personnel guys, who pretty much are knee-deep in player acquisition 24/7/365). But the good news for the Seahawks is that they will have a lot with which to work in the 2016 NFL Draft.
The Seahawks should have nine picks in the draft — five of their own, one acquired via trade and three as compensation for free agents lost a year ago.
The breakdown is as follows:
- Own picks: Seattle will pick No. 26 in the first round and then will have its own picks in rounds 2-3-4 as well as in the seventh. Seattle does not have its own fifth-round pick, which was traded to Kansas City for safety Kelcie McCray, or its own sixth-rounder, traded to Detroit for Mohammed Seisay.
- Picks acquired via trade: Seattle gets a seventh-rounder from Dallas for the Christine Michael trade (Michael reportedly had to be on Dallas’ active roster for three games for Seattle to get a pick,which he was, before being released and then ending up back with the Seahawks).
- Compensatory picks: Teams get picks as compensation for losing unrestricted free agents who sign with other teams (specifically, for losing players whose contracts run out, not those who are released). The comp picks are divided up based on what is a somewhat secretive formula and are officially announced at the NFL League Meetings in March, so there remains a little bit of intrigue until then. But Overthecap.com has projected that Seattle will get a third-round pick for the loss of cornerback Byron Maxwell (who signed with the Eagles_, a fifth-rounder for James Carpenter (Jets) and a sixth for Malcolm Smith (Raiders). Comp picks will be tradeable in 2017 but not this year.
The Seahawks, of course, have proven to be eager traders of draft picks, so the odds are good that both the number of selections and where Seattle will end up picking will change markedly by the time the picks are actually made when the draft is held April 28-30.
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What will also change markedly between now and then are the predictions of who will go where in the draft.
But the mock draft season is also in full swing now, especially after the Senior Bowl last weekend — sort of the kickoff of the draft season.
So that makes it a good time to see who some of the mock drafters think could be headed Seattle’s way.
As you’ll notice, there are a lot of predictions of linemen and cornerbacks, two areas where Seattle could have some obvious needs this year.
First round: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State.
Rang’s Comment: Seattle’s offensive line was a weak spot season long and with pending free agent left tackle Russell Okung likely to draw significant attention on the open market, the cap-challenged Seahawks may be forced to look to the draft for reinforcements. The 6-7, 315 pound Decker has the size and physicality Seattle’s offensive line coach Tom Cable prefers at tackle and is athletic enough to block in space.
First round: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
Bruglar’s Comment: Seattle has several question marks on the offensive line, including the future of Russell Okung who is in a contract year. Conklin isn’t the most athletic player, but he plays with patience and power to win the point of attack and control speed rushers.
First round: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville.
Second round: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame.
Third round: Willie Beavers, OT, Western Michigan.
Fourth round: Graham Glasgow, C, Michigan.
First round: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech.
Jeremiah’s comment: Butler is gaining a lot of steam in personnel circles and he’d look great in this scheme.
First round: Andrew Billings, DL, Baylor.
Brooks’ comment: Pete Carroll continues to guide the Seahawks deep into the postseason behind a dominant defense that features a number of stalwarts along the front line. Billings is an active defender with Brandon Mebane-like skills as an interior playmaker.
First round: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor.
McShay’s Comment: Billings has freakish weight-room strength that he puts to good use as a run defender. A great athlete for the position, he displays an impressive combination of quickness and power. Billings improved his consistency as a third-year starter, and that led to him playing the best football of his career in 2015 (14.0 TFLs and 5.5 sacks).
First round: Shaq Lawson, DE Clemson.
Kadar’s Comment: At this point, Lawson is too good of a talent to overlook. It just so happens he would be a good fit in Seattle where he can line up in multiple spots on the defensive line. Getting Lawson at No. 26 overall would be a coup.
First round: Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky:
Comment: Four years ago, the Seahawks took a chance on an ultra-talented pass-rusher who had some glaring character issues. Bruce Irvin didn’t exactly set the world on fire as a pro, but he did play well for Seattle overall. Irvin’s now a free agent, so could history repeat itself? Noah Spence would be a top-10 prospect if he had no character concerns. Spence didn’t help himself by bombing the Senior Bowl interviews, but some team may ultimately decide to pull the trigger on him late in the first round.
Second round: Cody Whitehair, OG Kansas State.
Comment: The Seahawks almost have to upgrade their offensive line, don’t they? Russell Wilson was constantly running for his life early in the season. Seattle made some great adjustments, but the front office still has to look at improving the blocking.Third round:
Third round: Seattle Seahawks: Deiondre’ Hall, CB, Northern Iowa
Comment: Seattle’s latest mid-round tall cornerback, Deiondre’ Hall could help an ailing secondary that couldn’t stop Cam Newton in the divisional round.
Fourth round: Jonathan Williams, RB Arkansas
Comment: Marshawn Lynch won’t be around for much longer, if this season is any indication. Thomas Rawls has proven himself, but the Seahawks could add someone to play behind Rawls.
href=”http://espn.go.com/nfl/insider/story/_/id/14551791/mel-kiper-releases-first-mock-draft-2016-nfl”>Mel Kiper, ESPN.com
First round: Eli Apple, CB Ohio State.
Kiper’s comment: The next two guys to come off the board would also be worth considering, because age is now a concern on the interior of that defensive line, but a long, physical cornerback who is a fearless tackler is a great fit for Pete Carroll. Yes, the secondary is a strength in Seattle, but it’s impossible to have too many corners who can play, and one injury changes the depth equation in a heartbeat.
First round: William Jackson, CB, Houston.
Seattle traded for Mohammed Seisay and sat him on injured reserve next to Tharold Simon for most of the season. Meanwhile, Tye Smith was inactive almost every week. On top of that, both Jeremy Lane and Deshawn Shead’s contracts are up. Shead is likely to return, but Lane (RFA) has a chance he could be given big money by a CB-needy team. William Jackson played three seasons at Houston and routinely shut down opponents – albeit against lesser competition but 40 passes defended and 8 interceptions are nothing to scoff at. Standing at 6’1″ he not only looks the part of a member of the Legion of Boom, he plays like one with big hits and great ball-hawking. Unfortunately, Jackson missed his chance to shine at the Senior Bowl due to a knee injury he may have suffered in his bowl game . That creates a red flag, but it shouldn’t scare off a team like Seattle that’s desperate for quality CB depth.