The Seahawks’ drafts have developed a routine in recent years.
Day one concludes with a pick few had connected to them, certainly not in the first round, a player whose selection raises a collective shrug from the fan base — a Rashaad Penny or an L.J. Collier — when other players who were fan favorites remained on the board.
This year’s first-round pick of Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks fits the same mold, with Seahawks fans left puzzled at taking a player few draft analysts figured would go that high and at a position that hadn’t seemed their biggest need.
But days two and three of the draft have been when the fun picks happen for the Seahawks — the emotions engendered by the pick of Shaquem Griffin in the fifth round in 2018, or the “did we really get him?” surprise of the selection of DK Metcalf (and the revelation of that Pete Carroll shirtless video) in the second round in 2019.
With three picks (for the moment) in the second and third rounds Friday night, the Seahawks will have plenty of chances to fill what appear to be their main needs — defensive line, receiver, defensive back, maybe running back.
Coach Pete Carroll tried to dissuade the media Thursday from the notion that the Seahawks are using the draft just to fill perceived needs.
“We’re in this draft to try and take guys that can impact us because they’re special players, not necessarily just to fill a need,” Carroll said. “We’re wide open.”
Some have wondered if the Seahawks — and other NFL teams — are looking for different players this year than they might have in previous seasons because of the unique nature of this offseason and that teams likely won’t be able to hold rookie minicamps. And who knows when training camp will begin?
But Carroll and Seahawks GM John Schneider indicated the first round of the draft fell as they expected.
“The whole board was wiped off just the way that John’s guys had figured it,” Carroll said. “It kind of just fit and followed just right. Hopefully we can do the same thing in the second round and onward.”
As a reminder, the Seahawks’ picks Friday night when the draft restarts with pick No. 33 at 4 p.m. are at 59, 64 and 101.
Who might the Seahawks be looking for?
Here are some possibilities:
DE Bradlee Anae, Utah: The Morris Trophy winner in the Pac-12 last year as the conference’s best defensive lineman after making 13 sacks, the 6-3, 257-pound Anae has the look and feel of a prototypical LEO, or rush end, in the Seahawks’ system. Of course, a few of the rush ends many figured would go in the first round, such as Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos and Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa are still available, so if those guys slip it would seem a no-brainer that the Seahawks would try to get one of them. Players such as Florida’s Jabari Zuniga could also fit well here.
WR Michael Pittman Jr., USC: While six receivers went in the first round, there are a number of good ones still available — and maybe in the 60s is where the Seahawks seem to get their receivers since that is where they picked Metcalf, who was pick 64 last year, and Tyler Lockett, who was pick 69 in 2015. The 6-4, 219-pound Pittman showed a pair of hands as sturdy as any in all of college football last year and would provide an impressive set of bookends on the outside with Metcalf.
DT Raekown Davis, Alabama: Could the Seahawks look again to Alabama to get another defensive tackle as they did in 2016 with Jarran Reed? Davis has been a player linked to Seattle and he had a virtual meeting with the team before the draft. Listed at 6-6, 312 pounds, he could play either tackle or the five-technique end spot. He had 8.5 sacks in 2017.
RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State: It was a surprise that the first running back off the board — and the only one picked so far — was Clyde Edwards-Helaire of LSU, who went to the Chiefs at 32. That leaves who many considered the top two running backs — Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor and George’s D’Andre Swift — still available. You wouldn’t figure they’d last to 59, especially Taylor. Dobbins may not, either, but the general assumption is he’d likely go after Taylor and Swift. The 5-9, 217-pounder is the kind of punishing, downhill, between-the-tackles runner the Seahawks like.
OT Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn: This had been called one of the best classes of offensive tackles in recent memory, and that proved out in the draft as six were taken in the first round. One who remains is Josh Jones of Houston, who had been a popular mock pick for the Seahawks at 27. Also still available is Ezra Cleveland of Boise State, a graduate of Bethel High in Spanaway. Either might be slam dunks for the Seahawks to take at 59, if available. But if the board continues to go to form they figure to be gone. Wanogho could still be there. He started 32 games for Auburn at left tackle and has played football only since age 16 after moving from Nigeria (he has also played basketball and was a swimmer). He could be a perfect kind of lineman to redshirt for a year and see if he can take over for Duane Brown down the road.