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NFL Draft 2015: Jared's Gems - Week 2

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The college players that could become Seahawk draftpicks from week two.

Danny Shelton getting at the QB
Danny Shelton getting at the QB
Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday Jeremy Lane was placed on short-term IR. This comes after Tharold Simon had surgery on a "minor cartilage injury" last week. Which came after AJ Jefferson was placed on IR, ending his season. Which came after Eric Pinkins was hurt even before training camp ever began, and is still on the NFI list. Add in the fact that Byron Maxwell is in his free agent year. How are you feeling about our secondary going forward?? Me neither.

I’ve been working this theory that the Seahawks may break from trend and draft a CB before the 4th round this year. It’s something they’ve never done in the PCJS administration. The problem with this theory is that I kind of hate the 2015 class of college CB. Well…at least, the senior class.

The current draftscout CB rankings go like this: Ekpre-Olomu (Sr), PJ Williams (Jr), and then massive dropoff to the suspended USC corner Josh Shaw, followed by 4 more Juniors. That’s right, 5 of the top 7 CB are underclassmen who may not declare. It’s a brutal class. It’s so bad, in addition to hoping a few more Juniors declare early, I’ve taken to looking at players the Seahawks could potentially convert (either WR to CB, or more likely S to CB).

Even if the low supply of natural corners didn’t demand possibly needing to convert a safety, I think it might be a growing trend in the NFL anyways. Roster spots are tight, versatility is huge…why not make your 4th safety also your 4th or 5th corner?? And clearly, the Seahawks aren’t opposed to this thinking. Perhaps even frontrunning it (Shead, Pinkins, Auguste, Burley, etc). But we’ve also seen it popping up with guys like Honey Badger and Jimmie Ward in our own division.

Davis Hsu thinks the Hawks should look for two CB in the next draft: 1) outside CB (to replace FA Maxy), and 2) an inside/outside hybrid. I’m thinking one of those could/should also be a CB/S hybrid.

I’ve already written a few times about MissSt CB Taveze Calhoun (currently playing CB, but I contend he could play S), and he’ll be one of my favorites until/if he announces he’s returning for his Senior year.

Then, two weeks ago, I noticed a highlight reel interception on Sportscenter or a college wrap-up show. The play was so incredibly athletic that I just KNEW the player had to be worth investigating.

The investigation turned up: 1) he was a JUCO transfer before this season, 2) played CB before converting to S this year, 3) good size for either spot at 6’0"/199, 4) SEC. I also found some highlights of his days playing corner at his JC, and they were solid. Then the cats over at draftbreakdown.com had to go and read my mind and cut his full-game tape from last week…the game in which he had the stellar INT. This is Kentucky safety AJ Stamps:

He covers like a deer, he hits like a truck, and he’s got great instincts. Only downside…he’s a JUNIOR. Ugghh. So frustrating. By the way, that tape is also worth using to take a peek at how #2 Alvin Bud Dupree is looking this year…supposedly bulked up a bit, but still looking quick, especially on those 3rd down situations.

Here’s another safety that looks like a Seahawk corner: Virginia Senior (phew) Anthony Harris:

Good size at 6’1"/190, which is very similar to Jeremy Lane (#hybrid inside/outside), but even better length. Which, of course, are traits that more resemble a Seattle corner than our safeties. I dig Harris’ tackling and smooth athleticism. I’d like to see him more in man coverage though. Harris is currently ranked #84 overall.

Staying in the state of Virginia, but switching to a nickel CB/S hybrid, I bring to your attention VT’s Detrick Bonner.  At 6’0"/194, and with a really high SPARQ profile (see Zach’s tweet for specifics), Bonner more resembles Marcus Burley than a Deshawn Shead.

Even without CB consideration, Bonner is interesting as a true FS backup for Earl. Not too many safeties coming out this year with sub 4.40 speed. Detrick is currently ranked #208 overall.

Lastly, in the CB search, I’m highlighting a player I watched live (on TV) this Saturday. I was watching the Oklahoma/Tulsa game and I spot this really decent-sized corner make a really nice PBU, while maiming a guy. Immediately, I pop open the Sooner roster and find it is Senior CB Julian Wilson. 6’2"/201 and he can do this:

I don’t have much else to show you (yet), but this is a guy that is now on my radar. Wilson is projected #219 overall (7th round), as of today.

That Oklahoma game was actually a pretty pleasant surprise. DT Chuka Ndulue (6’3"/289) had a sack and a couple TFL, DE Charles Tapper (6’4"/281) showed some nice athleticism with a PBU, and Sooner LT Tyrus Thompson (6’5"/336) looked like an absolute bastard on the OL. If you liked DJ Fluker a couple years ago, Thompson might be someone you need to watch. I’ll embed a tape from 2013, but keep in mind, I think he looks better this year:

TT is currently #149 overall, and would be an absurdly nice value pick in the 4th round, that you can then stash on the bench for a year or two.

Finally today, let’s give some local love and take a look at one of the 4 Big Dawgs.

UW is going to be pulling NFL scouts in droves at every game this year, and it will be because they hold 4 highly touted prospects on defense: DE Hauoli Kikaha, CB Marcus Peters, LB/S Shaq Thompson, and NT Danny Shelton. I’m posting tape of Shelton first because he is arguably having the best first two weeks of not only the 4 Big Dawgs, but of any defensive player in the country. In two games, Shelton has set new personal single-season marks in sacks and TFL…totals good enough to lead the country in both. And his total tackles (24…an insane 12 TPG from a NOSETACKLE!!) are good enough for 6th in the country. And dude is 340lbs. 6’2"/339 to be technical.

After two weeks like that, Shelton has certainly put himself squarely in the first round conversation. And with the lack of true NT’s in this draft, anyone running a 3-4 will be salivating to get his combine test numbers. 4-3 teams will be interested too. I certainly hope the Seahawks (who were scouting at the Huskies’ game versus EWU) will consider Danny if he should happen to fall to them. He is, to my early season eye, one of a kind in this draft class. As I went to press, Shelton was draftscout's #70 overall player, but that score was last updated Aug 28th...I'm guessing he'll spike up into at least the 2nd round in their next refresh.