The college football regular season has come to a close…feels like a good time to put together another Seahawks 7-round mock draft.
I had started writing this last week, before the Ravens game…I’m basically scrapping that whole thing. I had dropped RB way down, but the broken ankle suffered by Rawls has me putting a RB right back in. I’m moving CB up a little bit. I’m moving OL down a little bit for the first time all year. It’s nothing crazy; just give or take a round here and there.
As I’m writing this, Seattle currently sits in the 26th overall draft spot after leap-frogging Minnesota into 5th seed in the NFC. Seattle currently projects (with comp picks) to hold picks corresponding to rounds: 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7.
I’ve been projecting OL in the 1st basically all season. There are plenty of reasons that could/should still be the pick. But the one reason I think I’m changing this up is: availability. The LT’s we’ve all been hoping to get one of should all end up top-20 picks. We’re going to miss out on them. This is the group of: Tunsil, Stanley, Decker, Conklin, Coleman. We may have a shot at Kyle Murphy (Sidenote: I was watching Josh Garnett this week and Murphy really popped off the tape. I may have moved past him too quickly early in the season). A couple other names potentially available late-first could be Ifedi and Spriggs…neither of whom I’d draft that early.
So the question becomes, what IS the value in the late-first? For my money, it is this DT class. In the scrapped version of this mock, I actually had OL in the 1st and a trade up in the 2nd round to grab a DT. I like the DT class, but I don’t like it enough to wait till the 60’s. Maybe it’s better to just get "our guy" at DT in the first, and then try to counter-program for OL in the 2nd. Full disclosure: we’ve never seen PCJS take a DT in the 1st, and they may not value them there. But with both Rubin and Mebane free agents, and Jordan Hill often inactive with this injury or that…it might be time to invest early.
My DT wishlist is some order of: Adolphus Washington, Jonathan Bullard, Austin Johnson, Sheldon Rankins, Chris Jones (a couple guys ahead of this list, but should be gone well before #26).
Washington just had the bust for soliciting a prostitute…which really should be minor and not a deal-breaker, but with so many good DT this year, I’m a little less interested in him now.
Bullard is sort of my 1A pick from that list…I think Schneider may like him a lot, but I also low-key think he might end up a top-15 overall pick. His getoff and attack are some of the best in the class, and the SPARQ # could dazzle:
Austin Johnson and Sheldon Rankins sort of feel like two sides of the same coin. Both have been very steady all year. Both players have had VERY similar production years.
Johnson: 6’4"/323, 70 tackles, 13.0 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 2 PBU, 1 FF, 1 fumble return TD
Rankins: 6’2"/303, 53 tackles, 12.0 TFL, 6.0 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 fumble return TD
Here are each player’s fumble returns:
Back in October, PFF listed Johnson as the #4 runstopping DT, and at various points this year Rankins has been graded their #1 in the same category. Either player would make for great Seahawks.
Chris Jones is the one of the group that would be the biggest reach, currently. Draftscout has him at #145 overall, which is approximately 5th round. I don’t rate him that low…I think he’s more of a 3rd round guy. He is the least-consistent of the group I’m targeting. I think others on my list are CLEARLY superior versus the run, BUT I think Jones has more pass-rush upside than the rest.
The problem with Jones (and perhaps all DT) is, "can he contribute enough year ONE to merit a 1st?"
Chances are Chris Jones ends up the real pick...in the 3rd round. But in the world of fantasy:
1st Round – DT, Florida, Jonathan Bullard
Now we move to the OL. I’ve been watching Shon Coleman since week 1 or week 2 of the 2014 season, and I’ve spent a ton of time on him this year, which has led me to conclude: I really think he’s going to be a draft riser if he declares (and I think he will). This, unfortunately, is going counter to where Seattle is trending toward picking. So we adapt. Chances are Seattle re-ups Russell Okung anyway, meaning LT is secured. I, personally, have always liked Garry Gilliam and his performance is literally showing weekly improvements, meaning RT is secured.
I think we look towards improving the interior of our OL. Whether it be drafting a replacement for UFA Sweezy, or thinking we can improve upon Britt or Lewis…I’d like the OL we take first to be intended for the interior. In the 2nd round, the Seattle Seahawks select Center Joe Dahl.
2nd Round – C, Washington State, Joe Dahl
I just can’t shake this idea of Dahl at Center. I know he can play LT, I know he can play LG, and should the Center idea not pan out I think he can still slot in to either of those. But I want him at Center.
Dahl is arguably the best pass-protecting OL in this entire draft. The question on him will be, "can he run block?" Even in the limited run reps WSU gave him, I find the answer is "yes".
And just for good measure, here’s a pass-pro play from Dahl that is just too gorgeous. He switches better than everyone in CFB:
Right now Dahl is the one guy I HAVE to have in this draft. We’ll find a spot for him to play, just get him to VMAC. Because Dahl is somehow still grossly undervalued, I’m taking the hypothetical opportunity to stack the defense a little in the 1st, and then come back and get MY GUY in the 2nd. It’s a total Schneiz kind of thing to do.
In my scrapped mock, I had traded away the native 3rd round pick to move up in the 2nd. In this version, I don’t need to do that, and that is important because I want to give both Rawls and Richardson each a hedge.
I think the order probably goes WR-RB, but I also think there are fewer agreeable RB options, which could suggest prioritizing that first. Either way, my goal is to secure Kenneth Dixon at RB, and one of: Hollywood Higgins, Tajae Sharpe, and Fred Ross at WR. Higgins and Ross are both Juniors…draft media seem to think Higgins declares, but they have yet to realize who Ross is (wink emoji).
Tajae, although the smaller school prospect, has become fairly well-known this year thanks to leading the country in catches and targets. He also has had a very strong catch-rate. At 6’3"/188, if he can run around a 4.53 forty, Sharpe could represent a player similar to what we last had when Sidney Rice was here. Draftscout has him at #111 overall.
Higgins, although he’s had a relatively down year, is fairly well-known as he was the guy that led the country in receiving yards and TD’s in 2014. Listed at 6’2"/190, Higgins is pretty much the ideal WR size. Not too big, not too small. Draftscout has him at #100 overall.
Ross is 6’2"/207, produced a line of 81/933/4 TD this year, including four consecutive 100-yard games to close the regular season. While De’Runnya was busy getting most of the publicity and the RZ love, Ross was busy leading Hail State in receiving (81 catches to 55 for De’Runnya). Also a fairly accomplished punt returner, Ross reminds me of a blend of Odell and Cordarelle.
And here is the edit of the rest of that Arkansas game for Fred:
Draftscout doesn’t have Ross ranked for 2015. So, me being the contrarian I am, I have to take:
3rd Round A – WR, Mississippi State, Fred Ross
Nothing new to say here. Just give me that mauler Kenneth Dixon. He would make a great 3rd down compliment to Lynch/Rawls, but he also has the tools and style to bell-cow, if needed.
I’m pretty sure three of those came from the same drive. Phew. Dude just loves ball.
3rd Round B – RB, Louisiana Tech, Kenneth Dixon
We’ve come now to an interesting point in the draft. This is the point where I’m not ready to give out the name of the player I’m targeting. I will say that I am mocking a CB here. I will say most of the draft world don’t have this player rated this high. I will say a source tells me that NFL personnel like this player in the 4th round.
I had to dig a little bit to find the info I needed on this guy, but once I found it, I just became infatuated. I think PC and JS will be too. His technique is awesome and he just LOOKS every bit the part.
4th Round – CB, School, Player
In the 5th round, Schneider traded the native pick to KC for Kelcie McCray, but we are expecting to get a comp pick at the end of the round. I’m hoping that Travis Feeney has been knocked down this far by the news of his shoulder injury. I actually think that report may have been leaked by John. Very speculation, by me.
If, in 2015, Obum Gwachum was an attempt to hedge Bruce Irvin leaving in free agency, in 2016 that same player role would be Travis Feeney. Obum was 6’5"/231, Travis is listed 6’4"/226. Both will need to put on weight during some kind of redshirt year. With Obum, the more raw player, the Seahawks attempted to practice squad redshirt him, but he was claimed. With Feeney, a player that is already more game-ready, I think the team could try to 53-man redshirt him (like they have with Tye Smith, or maybe a Benson Mayowa in prior years). Also possible they use the shoulder issue to IR redshirt him.
5th Round – LB, Washington, Travis Feeney
This next pick came to me in a dream, or in a fever, or in a fever-dream. It was both forgotten and so completely obvious.
I don’t remember if it was prior to the 2015 draft, or the 2014 draft, but at one point in the last two years, Carroll went on the record saying something along the lines of, "it would be nice to have a backup QB that can do some of the things Russell can do." So why not go out and get the guy that people often compare to Russell?? I mean, like Russell, he did transfer before his Senior year. Like Russell, he did lead the country in passer rating, and finished top 2 in YPA (both averaging over 10.0 YPA). Like Russell, he did lose to Michigan State. Like Russell, he is under 6’0" tall.
6th Round – QB, Oregon, Vernon Adams
This will probably be a controversial mock-pick, but getting the NCAA passer rating leader, who threw 25 TD and only 6 INT, who can run a little bit, at the low-low projection of #260 overall just seems to make too much sense.
The Seahawks should end up with two picks in the 7th round, and with both you’re looking for those high-SPARQ athletes that you can just take a flyer on. Or sometimes you take Kiero Small because you want to throw one of your scouts a bone. Often, you take a player here that you may not have highest on your draft board, but rather a player you don’t have good rapport with for UDFA recruiting.
Names of interest in the 7th round range on draftscout include:
OL Connor McGovern
OLB Dadi Nicholas
DT Jihad Ward
OG Nila Kasitati
ILB Brandon Chubb
WR Ricardo Louis
WR Charone Peake
WR Canaan Severin
My two initial thoughts were WR and DT, but with multiple currently-rostered DT heading to free agency, Seahawks may be able to sell playing time to DT as UDFA. Even though I really like Severin, we’ve also had unprecedented success with UDFA WR. Might be able to wait on both.
I like McGovern, probably, more than most around the country. He’ll give you versatility at LT, RT, and RG, plus the story goes he’ll SPARQ a ton.
7th Round A – OL, Missouri, Connor McGovern
I think this last pick could/should go to a backup Safety (like Ryan Murphy last year), but I just don’t have a good feel for the Safety class yet. Especially not in terms of their SPARQ. As the only real dart-throw in this mock, we close with:
7th Round B – S, Appalachian State, Doug Middleton
DT Jonathan Bullard
OC Joe Dahl
WR Fred Ross
RB Kenneth Dixon
LB Travis Feeney
QB Vernon Adams
OL Connor McGovern
DS Doug Middleton