In an L.A. Times mock draft, Seattle Times reporter Bob Condotta was able to take Michigan State offensive lineman Jack Conklin for the Seahawks. Could Conklin really be there for Seattle come the draft next week?
The Seahawks will unquestionably add to the offensive line in the NFL Draft April 28-30.
The only question is who, when and where.
When I did a recent mock of all nine of Seattle’s currently scheduled picks, I went with a defensive tackle, UCLA’s Kenny Clark, as Seattle’s pick in the first round. As explained there, Seattle has needs on the defensive line, too, and this is regarded as a particularly strong draft for interior defensive linemen.
But when I participated in a mock first round draft for the Los Angeles Times, there was a name I hadn’t expected to be available when it came time to make Seattle’s pick at No. 26 —- Michigan State offensive lineman Jack Conklin.
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Few mock drafts have Conklin slipping that far. All four of the NFL.com mock drafts have Conklin going by pick No. 15 and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has him going No. 9 in his latest mock, just to name a few.
But when it came time for me to pick in the LA Times mock, Conklin was there so I snapped him up for the Seahawks. Whether the Seahawks would is impossible to say, but he obviously would make sense as he is regarded one of the top four tackle prospects available while also possessing the ability to move inside to guard, where some say he might be a better long-term fit as a pro.
Seattle can use depth and young competition at all of those spots, and is definitely in the market for a versatile backup, as well. So I figured Conklin would be hard for Seattle to ignore if he were available.
Conklin played in a zone blocking scheme with the Spartans so he’d be a good fit in that regard. Some have questioned if his athleticism fits the general Seattle guidelines for offensive linemen — specifically, the quickness of his feet. But his overall profile and Seattle’s needs on the offensive line would seem to make him a tough player for the Seahawks to pass up if he were available at No. 26.
Given the conventional wisdom, though, odds are that he won’t be.
But taking part in a mock draft reinforced how unpredictable the draft process can be. The trade last week involving the Rams and Titans has helped to shake up draft boards, and the recent rumblings that some quarterbacks could go higher than generally expected could further throw things into flux. Then there are the trades that will inevitably happen during the draft itself.
With four picks in the first 97 — the first time Seattle has had four picks in the top 100 since 2005 — the Seahawks will have lots of options and flexibility and the ability to take advantage if someone falls into their lap they aren’t expecting, regardless of what they might have been planning.