By Jared Stanger
What better way to launch a site about Seahawks’ draft than with a preseason, 7-round 2017 Seattle mock?
Let’s start with the current breakdown of Seattle’s 2017 (h/t to Overthecap.com for the compensation pick projections)…the Hawks currently stand expected to draft at:
The native 4th round pick was traded to New England as part of 2016 draft swap, and Seattle is currently in line for 4th round comp picks for Bruce Irvin and JR Sweezy. The Sweezy slot could become a 5th depending on 2017 cutoffs.
Some generalities about the 2017 draft class: it looks to be flush with DE and RB. This everyone knows. But it’s also looking VERY strong at CB, and potentially WR. OL looks extremely weak.
Before contemplating the future, it’s always good to acknowledge the present. Friend of the show Davis Hsu had this tweet a few weeks ago, which I then played off of:
In theory, the Seahawks could let all of their 2017 UFA walk (and look to gain 2018 comp picks), and not be forced into any need-based drafting in 2017. And that only applies to the UFA that make the team…some on that list, likely, won’t, and we’ll just push forward with the player with 3-4 years of club control.
The names on Davis’ list that are most interesting to me are Lewis, Sowell, Clemons, Hill.
Patrick Lewis might be the most underrated player on the roster. I tweeted recently the W-L records of Seattle without him starting in 2015 vs the W-L with him starting (4-4 w/o…7-3 w/). Yet, for some reason, he has been demoted to OC2 so far through mini-camp so that PCJSTC can go through the motions of trying Queso Dip at his 3rd position in 3 years. The team also drafted their first true-center in the PCJS regime this year in Joey Hunt. They’re really making it hard for Lewis to keep his job. Technically, I think they’re making him win his job BACK (as it was all but handed to Queso).
Even if Lewis wins the job for 2016, as an UFA, he might not be the long-term answer. In fact, between the guy the team doesn’t seem to like, the guy they seem to like but that can’t hold down a job, and the guy that they drafted in the 6th round and buried behind 2 other guys; none of these guys may be the long-term answer.
But an interesting thought occurred to me this week. Maybe running Queso out there at center isn’t about seeing HIM at center…maybe it’s about seeing Russell man the pocket behind a center that is 6’6″-plus. Maybe Seattle is looking down the road and seeing LSU’s 6’7″/309lb center, Ethan Pocic, coming to the draft in 2017.
When I first started writing this mock in my head, I was pretty decided on taking an Edge Rusher from this awesome class of DE. The Seahawks may still end up going that way. But, then again, maybe they’ll draft similar to 2016…get an OL in the 1st, then look for a trade-up opportunity in the 2nd to get a DL from a deep class (only swap OC for OG and swap DE for DT). If they do, the top two names to watch heading into this college season are Pocic and Pat Elflein from OSU.
I really like Elflein. I think he’s probably the superior talent to Pocic, but A) that superior talent may take him off the board before Seattle can get him, B) that talent has only been showcased at OG to this point. I imagine he’ll be really good at OC, but I’d prefer to wait until we see it live. For now, I think the idea of Queso being guinea pig for a huge body type at center is a cool reason to link Seattle to Pocic.
At this point, as a former LT, Pocic shows better in pass-protection than he does in run-blocking. He has great anchor and better-than-average athleticism for the position. I will just be looking to see if he can improve his push at the line of scrimmage in 2016.
1st Round – OC Ethan Pocic
Since they took care of the revolving door at center in the 1st, it makes sense now to try and take advantage of this deep class of DE in the 2nd. As I said, a trade-up here could be hugely valuable, but I’m going to try to find a guy that might be available late-2nd, just in case.
The early names to watch at DE include Myles Garrett, Derek Barnett, Charles Harris, Tim Williams, Jonathan Allen, Devonte Fields, Demarcus Walker, Dawaune Smoot, Deatrich Wise, Carl Lawson. Smoot is my favorite of tier 1 and he’d be my pick if Seattle went Edge in the 1st.
The next tier could hold names like Jordan Willis of Kansas State (6’5″/250 and 9.5 sacks in 2015), JT Jones of Miami of Ohio (6’3″/263 and 9.0 sacks), Trevon Young of Louisville (6’4″/229 and 8.5 sacks), Tyquan Lewis of OSU (6’4″/260 and 8.0 sacks), Daeshon Hall of Texas A&M (6’6″/260 and 7.0 sacks), Harold Landry of Boston College (6’3″/245 and 4.5 sacks).
I think next year’s SPARQ results will have a lot to do with who Seattle prefers from this group. I happen to know Willis is pretty damn SPARQy, but his tape is frustrating in its banality. With his size and Seattle connection, Hall could be really interesting if he takes a step forward this year. Young might be the best pure pass rusher on the 2nd list, but I have concerns about his size and off-field. Jones might be my favorite of the 2nd tier, but I’ve only seen very limited tape on him.
Without having any one standout for 2nd round Edge, for sake of this REALLY early mock, I’ll go in a slightly different direction with the acknowledgment that I intend to come back to Edge in the 2nd in future mock(s). For now…I really like this tape from Illinois DT Jarrod “Chunky” Clements and he could be a replacement for Jordan Hill if the team lets him walk in FA.
Listed at 6’3″/290, he’s actually not that chunky. His logical landing spot will be at 3 technique, but I could see him playing some 5tech as well. He shows some really strong hands. He hasn’t really lit up the boxscore to this point in his career (11.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 6 QBH), but I see upside.
2nd Round – DT Jarrod Clements
I was sitting here thinking about what I was looking for in a WR…some size would be nice to counter the number of smaller, shiftier receivers already on the roster…but I don’t want to give up route-running or intelligence…and some ability to break tackles would be a great bonus.
Going through my mental rolodex of the 2017 WR’s I kept wanting to cross off each name for missing one of the qualities on my checklist. Then, I realized I was forgetting a guy. A) because of his level of competition, but B) I think I was racially stereotyping the position. The guy that really fits what I’m imagining at WR is Eastern Washington’s Cooper Kupp (6’2″/205).
Here is a quick summation of how insanely good Kupp has been in his career:
- Kupp is 84 catches away from tying the all-time FCS receiving record. He’s averaged 103.7 catches per season his first three years.
- He’s only 486 yards away from the all-time FCS receiving yards mark (5250 yards). If he stays on his career per-game yardage average, Kupp would become the all-time leader after his 4th game of the season.
- And, on top of that, Kupp could become the all-time FCS receiving TD leader in his first game of 2016…he’s only 2 TD away from tying (58 TD).
Plus, Kupp is a decent special teamer; averaging 14.8 YPR on 18 career punt returns (including two for TD).
The downside on Kupp is that Seattle hasn’t gone toward small-school players much recently. Certainly, they haven’t taken an FCS player as high as the 3rd round. But I’m giving Cooper the benefit of the doubt based on how he DESTROYED power five conference Oregon last year.
3rd Round – WR Cooper Kupp
This next guy I’ve made no attempt to hide my affection for. He’s a 6’3″/183 CB that is SPARQ’d through the roof, and he’s coming from right down the road. Gimme that Kevin King.
King opened the year with interceptions in UW’s first 3 games, but then no more for the rest of the year. If you combine his INT and PBU, King had at least 1 PBU in 8 consecutive games last year. Plus, he’s just a dead ringer for a Seahawk CB physique/athleticism.
4th Round (C) – CB Kevin King
When doing a mock draft this early, you’re really just drafting first for position, and then trying to match a player with approximately even projection. Very little of this will stick. 2nd’s will inevitably become 1st’s, and 5th’s will become 2nd’s, etc.
With the second of Seattle’s 4th round comp picks, I’m thinking TE. Willson could walk, Jimmy may not be what he once was pre-injury, Coop has only ever been serviceable.
Having drafted Nick Vannett (a Y-tightend) this year, Seattle could be able to look more for a Joker/Z tightend in 2017. Two names that immediately come to mind are FIU’s Jonnu Smith and UW’s Darrell Daniels. And I think they’d match this round value.
Smith has been listed at about 6’3″/230 and Daniels has been more in the 6’4″/240 range per their team sites. Daniels has been hand-timed at a 4.45 forty yard dash. Smith was one of the leading TE receivers in the country in 2014 (61/710/8 TD), but then his numbers receded in 2015 (36/397/4 TD).
I also like a lot of what I’ve seen from Phazahn Odom, but he’s a guy I’d currently expect to be more of a 5th-6th round target.
I know I’m doubling-down on the alma mater, but what can I say…I’ve been able to see them workout at their Junior combine and both were observably exceptional.
4th Round (C) – TE Darrell Daniels
These later rounds I’m really just dropping in names of guys I’ve found quality tape on. There isn’t much consideration for need or projection. I just like them.
Ralph Green III is a player I only found after Draftbreakdown published this edit of him. Shortly after that one of my Twitter followers mentioned he knew him from Green’s high school days, and that he’s a really good kid.
I also like that he’s a 6’5″/304 lb nose tackle capable of breaking up 6 passes in a season.
5th Round – DT Ralph Green III
Around the 6th, I’d like to find a Safety, as there could be two able to walk from the team in free agency (Browner and McCray), but Safety is one of the hardest positions to scout from TV tape. I don’t have any sense of the quality of any of next year’s safeties.
This range could also be a place that Seattle looks to hedge OL depth. Sowell will be gone, Ifedi may move to RT, Webb may become a swing OL, Odhiambo may be given a shot at RG. Lots of question marks. Whatever the changes, we’ll likely need to backfill.
6th Round – OG Chase Roullier
Having passed over on Edge earlier, I’m closing out my first 2017 SeaMock with a guy that hasn’t seen a ton of snaps in his career. This is as “designated pass rusher” (DPR) as one can get. Listed at an undersized 6’1″/240 and having only registered 9 tackles all of 2015, but with 6 of those tackles actually being sacks…my pick for the David Perkins of 2017 is Utah’s Pita Taumoepenu.
The getoff is insane. It reminds me very much of when I first saw Bruce back in 2012. If he can also be trained to play stand-up, drop-back LB, well then you really could have a steal.
7th Round – LB/DE Pita Taumoepenu
There it is…the first mock draft of the 2017 season, and the first ever mock draft of SeattleSeaMocks.com, and we’re right back where we started…with three stacks of high society.