Whether the Seahawks keep their first-round pick is one of the intriguing questions as Thursday's NFL Draft nears.
The Seahawks’ history, and their stated desire to try to get some picks in the second and third rounds — they currently don’t have any on the draft’s second day — lead to the easy conclusion that Seattle probably won’t actually make a selection at No. 18.
But then, this has already been a different sort of offseason for the Seahawks, who also have talked rather frankly of altering their draft strategy a bit to enforce some more stringent criteria for prospects to make it onto their board.
So maybe they buck convention and stay put and use the pick.
NFL DRAFT PREVIEW
AT&T Stadium, Dallas
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If so, here are some day-before-the-draft thoughts on a few players who may be available there.
DE Marcus Davenport, Texas-San Antonio: Regarded as one of the best edge rushers available, something the Seahawks can always use more of, if also regarded as maybe needing some time to develop due in part to not playing a consistently high level of competition. Seattle’s offseason also hasn’t done much to mute the need for some young edge rushers as the jury is still out whether any or all of the trio of Dion Jordan, Marcus Smith and Barkevious Mingo — all former first-round picks acquired by Seattle in various ways over the last year — are going to solve things. And the 6-6, 264-pound Davenport undoubtedly fits the longtime Seahawks’ mantra of finding guys with unique attributes and then figuring out how to get the most out of them.
OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame: The Seahawks’ brass has sent some signals that it feels better than outsiders might think they should about the current state of their offensive line. And having used a first (Germain Ifedi), second (Ethan Pocic) and third (Rees Odhiambo) picks on offensive linemen over the last two seasons that they are still hopeful will live up to their promise, the Seahawks might not feel adding more youth is the most urgent need right now. But McGlinchey is generally considered the best tackle available in a year when there aren’t too many regarded as able to contribute early, and he might be hard to ignore.
CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado: One of the more curious events of the last week or so is that Byron Maxwell remains unsigned. Indications are the Seahawks have offered him a deal. But as of yet, no agreement has been reached, which leaves Seattle with even more of a need at cornerback than might have been expected a few weeks ago. Seattle has Shaquill Griffin to play one outside corner spot, and Justin Coleman is back to be the nickel. But with the loss of Richard Sherman and the uncertainty over Maxwell — who replaced Sherman for the final month-and-a-half last season — Seattle can use another corner (the Seahawks did sign free agent Dontae Johnson, a starter for the 49ers last season, but a contract of just $1.13 million and $350,000 bonus hardly guarantees he’s making the team). Oliver may be the most stereoptypically Seahawks cornerback in the draft, at a listed 6-foot, 201 pounds with whopping 33.5-inch arms.
S Derwin James, Florida State: James may have been the most-mocked player to Seattle in the pre-draft runup, with the size (6-2, 215) to fill Kam Chancellor’s strong safety role but also regarded as having the ability to play free. If the Seahawks don’t trade Earl Thomas, then the need at safety isn’t as great, with Bradley McDougald re-signed and able to step in at strong safety, and the Seahawks also signing veteran Maurice Alexander to add depth at strong safety. But if they do. ….
DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan: Hurst will be one of the most interesting players to watch in the draft. He was regarded by some as potentially able to sneak into the top 10 before he was diagnosed with a heart condition at the Combine, which it was later revealed he apparently first diagnosed with during his freshman season at Michigan. As Wednesday progressed, rumors floated that teams might be scared off enough by Hurst’s condition that he could fall to the third round. Given Seattle GM John Schneider’s statement earlier this week that the team will be more discerning about taking risks on players, that could mean the Seahawks could be more hesitant about taking Hurst. But Hurst did make a pre-draft visit to Seattle and he is generally regarded as being as good of an interior pass-rusher as is available in the draft — something the Seahawks are always looking for. Might be a guy that Seattle would trade down for if he really starts to slip, as well.