Seattle might be intrigued by three defensive backs available but the Seahawks also have little draft capital to spend. Still, how good do they feel about their talent in the defensive secondary?
The NFL on Monday announced that this year’s Supplemental Draft will be held July 11.
That means the Seahawks, and the other 31 NFL teams, will have a chance to select any of the four players who have become eligible to be drafted since the regular draft was held in April.
The three players are all defensive backs — safety Brandon Bryant of Mississippi State and cornerbacks Adonis Alexander of Virginia Tech and Sam Beal of Western Michigan. The other is Oregon State linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu, who it was reported on Monday by NFLDraftScout.com will also enter the draft.
How the Supplemental Draft works is if a team takes a player it then gives up its pick in that round in 2019.
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In that context, it’s worth remembering that the Seahawks already don’t have their second-round pick for 2019 as part of the Duane Brown trade last October and they also are not projected to be getting any compensatory picks for losses in free agency.
That means that as of today they have six picks for 2019 with no guarantee of getting any more other than making trades down the road.
That might lessen the odds that the Seahawks would want to use a pick now, though all three players have been judged as potentially being draftable.
Alexander, who declared for the Supplemental Draft after being declared academically ineligible for the 2018 season, may be the most “Seahawky’’ of the three players available.
He measured at 6-2, 195 at his Pro Day last week with an arm length over 32 inches (which has always been the magic number for the Seahawks when it comes to corners).
Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com wrote that he could see Alexander going as high as the third round and that “he would’ve been graded by scouts as one of the top cornerback prospects in the nation.’’
Beal, who also declared for the draft after being ruled ineligible for the 2018 college season, is likewise regarded as potentially going as high as the second- or third-round and also has some “Seahawky’’ traits, standing 6-1, and weighing 185 (his Pro Day is set for later this week and I haven’t seen an arm measurement for him but most scouting reports usually mention that he has good length).
Each player might be attractive to the Seahawks. But taking a corner as high as the third round would be basically guaranteeing a roster spot to a player at this point and Seattle appears to be pretty full at cornerback returning what was its starting trio at the end of last season (Shaquill Griffin, Byron Maxwell and Justin Coleman) as well as adding fifth-round pick Tre Flowers and also having on hand the likes of veteran Neiko Thorpe, free agent signee Dontae Johnson who started all 16 games last season for the 49ers and third-year man DeAndre Elliott.
Conversely, the Seahawks could save $1.8 million against the cap by waiving Thorpe and Johnson recently suffered a broken foot that required surgery and has a contract that includes just $300,000 guaranteed, meaning his spot on the roster is hardly secure. And while the team is in the midst of converting Flowers to corner, he was a safety at Oklahoma State and the Seahawks could always use him there, as well.
Bryant, who held his Pro Day Monday, might be even more enticing from a strict potential need standpoint as he played primarily free safety at Mississippi State, where he played 37 games with 157 tackles, five interceptions and one touchdown.
Seattle hasn’t been reported as attending the Pro Days for Bryant or Alexander but Seattle undoubtedly knows who the three players are.
Ugwoegbu made himself available for the draft after having been suspended indefinitely by new Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith at the start of spring practice. As OregonLive.com reported, it’s unclear why he was suspended. He had 20 starts in his OSU career at outside linebacker. Here’s a scouting report noting that he could have moved into the middle rounds in 2019 with a solid 2018 season and that also projects him as likely being a weakside linebacker. That’s not really an area of apparent need for the Seahawks right now with Shaquem Griffin having been moved there to back up veteran K.J. Wright (and it’s worth noting players not selected in the Supplemental Draft become free agents and can then sign with any team).
Seattle hasn’t made a pick in the Supplemental Draft since 1987, but that was a pretty big one — linebacker Brian Bosworth after the Seahawks won a lottery, and 37-1 odds, for the right to take him.
Seattle’s only other Supplemental pick came in 1977 when the Seahawks used a fourth-rounder on running back Al Hunter, who had been suspended by Notre Dame — which was the first time the NFL used a Supplemental Draft.
Hunter gained 715 yards in parts of four seasons before his NFL career was over at the age of 25.