Just when you think the NFL can't drum up any news of substance during the deadest time of year, they go ahead and pull you right back in. Clemson left tackle Isaiah Battle will join three others in declaring for the NFL Supplemental Draft, which will take place in mid-July (I don't know if there's a date set yet, but in the past it's been around July 11th-13th or so).
The natural question you're surely asking yourself is: Will the Seahawks show any interest?
The quick answer -- quite possibly, yes. The Tigers' left tackle is listed at 6'7, 290 -- that's a good size, obviously, and our own Jared Stanger sees him as a bit of a waist bender, but ultimately a guy that can move well. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein agreed, noting that Battle is "Long and athletic. Good mover and great fit for zone team. Hasn't proven he can carry NFL weight yet. Needs better anchor. He gets his hands on rushers quickly and can be very disruptive with that reach. He's got a shot to be a starter but needs mass."
The Seahawks have a history of taking more athletic players with some issues in the "mass" department -- they regularly look at guys in the 285 pound to 290 pound range (particularly at tackle) if they have the athletic and length requirements, then look to slowly add the weight with their strength program.
That said, Battle is listed at 6064 (6'6 and 1/2), which is a little bit outside the Seahawks' ideal prototype. Most of their offensive lineman stand 6'5 and below -- because, as Cable framed it, "I think when you look at the history of good run players, they're the 6'4", 6'5" body. Once they start getting longer and taller than that, their rear end gets a little further from the ground, and hard in terms of leverage."
However, that's not a hard and fast rule.
"Yet, you can find guys that can do it once in a while," Cable said. "I had a guy in Oakland, Robert Gallery, who we brought here, who could do it for a little bit. You can find them once in a while, but they're rare. I think if you look at our group, regardless of where they play, they're all athletes. I think that's really the best way to look at them. We don't have a bunch of big, heavy guys, and even the ones we have that have been bigger, we found ways to get them down to where they could be more productive athletically. "
Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan were both 6'6, and the Seahawks brought in a guy this year that they seem to really like in Jesse Davis, who is listed at 6'6. So, Battle's height doesn't necessarily eliminate him from Seattle's "board." They just have to decide whether or not they want to give up a future pick to acquire him. There was a bit of a dearth of good offensive tackles in this year's draft class, and Battle had been projected to be a fairly high pick in next year's draft -- potentially the #2 tackle in the whole class. Depending on how you classify players, there were up to five tackles taken in this year's first round.
The Supplemental Draft is a silent-auction format and teams put a round-value on a player if they think he's worth a future pick. For example, if the winning team puts a 'second-round' bid on the player and wins, they will give up their second-rounder in next year's Draft. Seattle is at the end of each round, though, so would really have to outbid everyone except the Patriots by a full round. This could make it tough, because it seems unlikely they'll use a first-rounder on him (though, they've done weird stuff with their first-round picks over the years).
The last player to be selected in the Supplemental Draft was Josh Gordon, and the Browns under Mike Holmgren gave up a second-round pick. Gordon briefly became what appeared to be a huge value in being acquired for a future second-round pick, but he couldn't stay on the field and is serving a one-year suspension at the moment.
West Georgia defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey, West Georgia defensive end Darrius Caldwell, and North Carolina Central wide receiver Adrian Wilkins are the other players that declared for the Supplemental Draft.