By Jared Stanger
Whenever the Seahawks of the present start to show some cracks in the foundation, I like to take a look at ways they could be shored up in the future. So here is the latest 7-round Sea-Mock.
With the loss on Saturday, Seattle has actually dropped about six spots in overall draft position. They now sit at #23 overall (could move to #24 with a Detroit loss on MNF). That sucks from a pride standpoint, but it could make a massive positive difference from a draft standpoint.
Seattle, in theory, is currently drafting at #23, #55, #87, 4th round comp, 5th round comp, 6th round, and a 7th rounder from the Kevin Norwood trade.
For whatever reason, my two primary targets in the first round are still being undervalued nationally, and are not only available at #23, but also as late as #30. So I’m trading back. I’d like to move back five spots. #28 is owned by Kansas City (John Dorsey from the Green Bay family tree). To make the trade points work, I think it goes Seattle’s #23 overall plus Seattle 5th round comp pick in exchange for KC’s #28 and #93 overall.
At #28 the options are OT Ryan Ramczyk (draftscout’s #30 overall) and DL Solomon Thomas (#40 overall), with Ramczyk being a higher need. But, if you read the entire draft, if you draft Ramczyk there, you will miss out on the two best DE/DT hybrid players in this class. If you take Thomas here, I think the dropoff from Ramczyk to the next OT down is less severe.
#28- DL Solomon Thomas
It’s looking more and more lately like Seattle needs some more interior pass rush. That Jordan Hill/Quinton Jefferson dude is honestly being missed on 3rd downs. I don’t think there is a lot of THAT guy available in this draft. But I think Solomon Thomas and Demarcus Walker present interesting options as hybrid DL.
Walker, at 6’4″/280 lbs/15.0 sacks, is more of a DE in usage at FSU that can play some DT:
Thomas, at 6’3″/273 lbs/7.0 sacks, is more often a DT for Stanford that can play some DE:
I’m going with Thomas because of his athleticism, attack, and hustle.
Now, to make a 1st round defense pick work, you have to have a plan to address the OL later. This mock ONLY works if my guy holds projection within +/- fifteen picks (or if you trade up in the 2nd round, like you did for Jarran in 2016).
#55- OL Forrest Lamp
Forrest Lamp is one of the highest floor players in this draft, for me. And his ceiling will be set pretty much by simply how long his arms measure at the combine. He’s listed by WKU as 6’4″/300 lbs. This is already a problem for him to stick at OT in the league. You rarely ever see a LT under 6’5″. I’d give him reps at LT in rookie/mini camp just to see him there, but if he works best somewhere else, so be it.
As a LG, Lamp is this year’s Zack Martin. Dallas spent a #16 overall pick on Martin when he came out of ND, so a 2nd rounder to get Lamp is actually a bargain. If you want to start building an offensive line like the Cowboys have, you make this pick and find a place for Lamp to start. Don’t be beholden to ANYONE on the current Seattle OL (outside of Britt, whom has earned a job for 2017).
Draftscout has Lamp at #71 overall, currently.
Then, because you probably still need to hedge for OT, we’ll double-down on OL later.
As we move into the 3rd round, I’m thinking about replicating the 2015 draft, and for the same reason. This is a trade UP spot to go get a WR. This is to hedge for Tyler Lockett’s health, and to give options allowing the team to go away from Kearse.
After my 1st round trade, Seattle holds 3rd round pick #87 and #93. The logical move is to to use #87 and the 4th round comp pick to get up into the 70’s.
#79- WR Cooper Kupp
I think Zay Jones is another plausible name here, but I go with Kupp a) because his projection is lower, b) he has better special teams ability. And c) is probably: Kupp is the bigger body guy with better speed.
Both Zay and Coop had record-setting years in 2016 where they compiled over 1700 yards receiving. Both are over 6’1″ and 197 lbs. Both can play inside and outside.
Kupp, however, averaged 17.0 YPR on punts in his career, with an average of 22.9 YPR in 2016. If Lock can’t go, you need someone on both punts and kickoffs.
With the remaining 3rd round pick, there has to be a trade back (or two) to recoup some of the picks lost in other trades. I would recommend a couple of trades of 7-10 spots back each, eventually settling in around pick #110. The added picks would be approximately one late-5th, and one mid-6th.
#110- RB Kareem Hunt
I’d like to wait a little longer to draft a RB, but really, Seattle’s current RB corps keeps dropping like flies with injuries, and the 2017 draft keeps losing RB’s who are returning to school. Hunt is the best value at RB in this class. He comes from a small school, many people wrote him off after his rough 2015 season, so there are signs that he could be available this late (Draftscout puts him at #158).
Hunt, at 6’0″/220 lbs, is a good mix of the RB’s we currently have on the roster. He’s thickly-built, has good make-em-miss ability plus power to run over guys, and then he added 41 pass-catches this year. So he can play on 1st-2nd or 3rd down.
5th round- OT Antonio Garcia
Wherever Seattle ends up landing with their trade-backs, I’m spending the first of the two picks on Troy’s LT Antonio Garcia. Listed at 6’7″/302 lbs, Garcia has the prototypical size to play Tackle. I’d slot him at LT by skillset and higher need for Seattle, but my tracking tells me Seattle is looking more for a bullying RT. I think they missed an opportunity to get that guy when they passed on Shon Coleman last year, and this year I think the guys that fit the bill of the “nasty, run-blocker” just aren’t very good.
I think Garcia is good currently with upside to be even better. I’ve already seen improvement in him from his 2015 tape into his early-2016 tape vs #2 team in the country; Clemson.
Draftscout has Garcia as #214 overall, but I’ve seen others who like Garcia on day two. I’m hoping this middle-ground spot (roughly #150-165) is early enough to get him.
Many people think that CB is a ‘need’ for Seattle, and while I agree to a point, I don’t have as much urgency to draft one as many others. In part because that is the Seattle way (never a CB before the 4th round), and in part because I think this draft class allows you to push CB until later.
Just to highlight a few CB available after the 4th:
#103- Kevin King
#116- Brandon Facyson
#136- Rasul Douglas
#175- Channing Stribling
#184- Ahkello Witherspoon
That may be low for King, high for Facyson, about right for Douglas, high for Stribling, low for Witherspoon.
All of those guys have talent and look more-or-less like a Seattle corner…it’s just a question of hitting the best value for the position, AND for the rest of your draft board.
On my draft board, this is the best spot to get a CB and Kello is the one that is the most under-valued.
6th round- CB Ahkello Witherspoon
Listed at 6’3″/195 (incidentally, the exact measurements Sherm had at the combine in 2011), Kello leads the country in PBU’s with 20. While most of the world has been hyping his teammate Chidobe Awuzie all year, I’ve gradually been noting that Colorado has been using Witherspoon on their opponents’ WR1 each week. Whether it was Darren Carrington of Oregon, Juju vs USC, or most-recently John Ross in the Pac12 Championship vs UW.
My biggest problem with Kello is his tackling. It’s inconsistent at best, and at times it is BAD. But…if you go back to the early days of Sherm…that was kind of his biggest problem too. If you believe in the Hawk-tackle system, that might be one of the easiest things to coach up.
In the meantime, Witherspoon has impeccable footwork with really loose hips, nice instincts, and he is probably the best I’ve seen this year reading the WR’s eyes and then locating the ball late. Hence the 20 PBU.
Now, as we enter the 7th round, we should be acquiring another pick (or should have already acquired one), but I have a leftover turkey sandwich calling my name, so I’m not going to do the math on trade values here.
If you have one pick in the 7th, I’ll take a Mike Morgan/SAM type. If you have two picks, take the SAM and a TE.
The TE would be Wyoming’s Jacob Hollister…who is listed 6’4″/239 lbs, from Bend, Oregon, and averaged 16.09 YPC this year with 7 TD’s in a run-first offense.
7th round- OLB Jimmie Gilbert
I’m going back-to-back Colorado picks. Kind of like when Seattle went Ryan Murphy and Obum Gwacham in the same draft a couple years ago. Similar players/positions too.
I like the Colorado defense. I like that they came from 2-10 in 2014 and refined themselves to a point of ending up ranked and playing for the Pac12 Championship. I like that Gilbert is 6’5″/230 lbs, posted 9.5 sacks and finished 2nd in the country in forced fumbles. I like that he’s stronger than he looks but runs like a dear.
DL Solomon Thomas
OL Forrest Lamp
WR Cooper Kupp
RB Kareem Hunt
OT Antonio Garcia
CB Ahkello Witherspoon
OLB Jimmie Gilbert
I mean, in all honesty, we need two more picks (at least), but the league took one away for players fighting in training camp, and we didn’t get enough comp picks after losing Okung and Mebane.
I took a more agressive strategy to get the day 1-2 guys I really wanted. John Schneider may be more insistent on getting the volume of picks up.