A trio of recent draft picks who ended the year on injured reserve could all factor in to how the Seahawks assemble their 2019 roster.
You have some questions about the Seahawks in the wake of Saturday’s too-soon season finale loss to Dallas in the playoffs?
We’ll try to provide some answers in our latest Seahawks mailbag. And as a reminder, you can email questions to email@example.com, or send them via twitter at @bcondotta as we will make the mailbags a regular feature throughout the offseason.
Q: Where will the Seahawks draft in 2019?
A: The results of the weekend actually answered that question — playoff teams are slotted based on how far they advance and their record.
Saturday’s loss placed Seattle at 21st in the first round of the draft. Seattle has drafted at that spot only once in its history, taking offensive lineman Pete Kendall there in 1996.
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Two Hall of Famers have been picked 21st, each receivers — Randy Moss and Lynn Swann (stats via Pro Football Reference).
The most accomplished recent player taken 21st overall is defensive end Chandler Jones by New England in 2012.
The 21st pick last season was center Billy Price out of Ohio State by Cincinnati, who started 10 games this season.
Of course, we all know the Seahawks rarely pick in the first round in their original spot. They didn’t last year, going into the draft holding the 18th pick but then trading with Green Bay to move down nine spots to 27 to pick up an extra third-rounder and a sixth-rounder (while also giving up a seventh-rounder).
And it would make more sense than ever for Seattle to trade down and get more picks this year since the Seahawks at the moment only have four picks, having traded away their selections in the second round (Duane Brown), sixth (Brett Hundley) and seventh (Shalom Luani).
Seattle has never made fewer than eight picks in the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era. It would take some doing to get that many picks again but Schneider has proved up to that task before.
Q: Are C.J. Prosise and Amara Darboh still part of Seattle’s future?
A: So speaking of the draft, Prosise and Darboh stand as two of the more enigmatic of recent Seahawks selections, each taken in the third round —- Prosise in 2016, Darboh in 2017 — while having produced little in their time in NFL while battling injuries.
Darboh missed the 2018 entire season, landing on injured reserve after he was initially waived at the cutdown to 53, then claimed by the Patriots, then failing a physical there and reverting back to Seattle. He then had surgery on his shoulder. Apparently, the Patriots simply found something more serious with Darboh when they gave him a physical than had Seattle, though it was known he was dealing with an issue in that area — he missed all four exhibition games for Seattle due to injuries.
Carroll said in his end-of-season news conference Monday that he had just seen Darboh on Sunday and “he looks great. He should be fine.’’
It’s obviously hard to know what to expect out of Darboh, who had just eight catches for 71 yards as a rookie in 2017, playing in all 16 games.
But the thought is Seattle remains enamored of his potential — the Seahawks had planned all along to re-sign him to the practice squad after he had been waived if he had not been claimed.
And there’s zero reason not to give him another shot — Darboh will be entering the third season of his four-year rookie deal with a cap number of $844,572 in 2019.
He obviously won’t be considered as anything close to a lock to make the roster in 2019 but he’s a name to keep in mind as we now turn our focus to the moves the team makes to assemble its roster for next season.
Prosise is another to at least remember remains on the team.
At this point, Prosise has to be considered as a player on the outside looking in for a roster spot in 2019 having played just 16 of a possible 48 regular season games in three seasons, including just five this year (with just one carry for minus-three yards at the Rams in November) before going on IR with an abdominal injury that required surgery.
Carroll said Prosise will be ready for the beginning of the team’s offseason program, which begins April 15.
“C.J., he really needed the surgery that he had, it was a little more extensive than we thought,’’ Carroll said. “But he will be back from that, that’s about an eight-week recovery or something like that, so he will be fine.’’
And as with Darboh, there’s little to lose for Seattle to keep Prosise on the 90-man roster and see what happens in camp — he is entering the final season of his initial four-year rookie contract with a cap hit of $918,116 in 2019 (Seattle would save $745,000 against the cap if he is released either before or after June 1, according to OvertheCap.com, meaning there’s no incentive to make a move with him before camp).
Seattle appears pretty well set in the backfield with Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny remaining under contract in 2019 and the team in good position to retain the two other tailbacks who ended the season on the 53-man roster — J.D. McKissic, who is a restricted free agent, and Bo Scarbrough, who is an exclusive rights free agent.
Mike Davis, meanwhile, is an unrestricted free agent after having a $1.237 million cap hit in 2018. He’d be unlikely to be back at that number, especially if the Seahawks think Prosise is a legit option for the third-down, two-minute back role, which McKissic can also play, and which the Seahawks may also think they can do with Penny.
Getting anything out of Prosise in 2019 would seem a bonus at this point.
But Carroll seems excited about at least finding out if Seattle can still get a decent return on a player who was taken 90th overall in the draft in 2016.
“(Tailback is) a great, competitive position for us and I love C.J.’s play,’’ Carroll said Monday. “I think he is a fantastic player, he just has had that bug about staying healthy he’s had to deal with, but he’s a terrific competitor when he’s out there so it will be exciting to have him back.’’
Q: What’s the situation with Jamarco Jones?
A: Jones, recall, was a fifth-round pick in 2018 out of Ohio State who was making a swift climb up the depth chart in training camp — even getting a few reps with the ones at right tackle — before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in the first exhibition game against the Colts.
Carroll said Monday Jones has had a good recovery.
“He looks great,’’ Carroll said. “He’s in great shape, he’s gained weight, he’s stronger than he’s ever been. Now, he’s already raring to go. He’ll be back and there should be no hesitation with his return.”
Seattle should have a pretty competitive tackle situation in 2019 with just the players who are currently on its roster, which also may mean Seattle won’t feel overly compelled to have to make a lot of additions to that spot.
Duane Brown is set at left tackle and Germain Ifedi — the starter at right tackle — has one more year left on his rookie contract.
George Fant, who started one game at right tackle this season and played extensively in an eligible tackle/tight end role, is a restricted free agent, which means you’d assume he will be back.
Elijah Nkansah, who memorably got one snap at right tackle when Fant was injured against Kansas City, with Seattle scoring on a Carson run on the play, is also under contract in 2019 while Jones has three years left on his.
Seattle will surely add another few tackles to the mix. But the return of those five tackles (I’m assuming they’ll bring back Fant) means that guard is the more urgent issue heading into the offseason, with both of veteran starters J.R. Sweezy and D.J. Fluker now unrestricted free agents.