Full disclosure: this is absurd.
But it could also be hilarious in 8-9 months if any of these names pop up as Seahawk draft picks.
This is my pre-preseason 2016 NFL Draft, Seahawks-specific, 7-round mock. There is so much that will change between now and next April…draft positions will change, number of picks will change (Hawks already traded off their native 6th for Mohammed Seisay), the team’s biggest needs may change, they may sell off their 1st rounder again, etc. But it’s meant to be a fun bit of hypothetical exercise.
Currently, the projection should be that Seattle has 9 picks in the 2016, draft after adding 3 compensation picks, and subtracting the just-mentioned 6th-rounder, to their native 7 picks. The comp picks are probably a 3rd (Byron Maxwell), a 5th (James Carpenter), and a 6th (Malcolm Smith). A 4th comp pick was lost after signing Ahtyba Rubin.
I won’t put a number value on each specific pick, but rather I’ll simply call the picks: 1, 2, 3a, 3b, 4, 5a, 5b, 6b, and 7.
I think the teams’ greatest need heading into next offseason is at DT. 1) We’ve already cut Tony McDaniel, and 2) Brandon Mebane, Rubin, Greg Scruggs, Demarcus Dobbs, David King, Jesse Williams, and D’Anthony Smith are all some form of free agent. Kinda scary.
But Pete Carroll and John Schneider have NEVER used a pick this early on a DT. They haven’t used a pick this early AT ALL recently, but that’s another story. Regardless, unless a Shawn Oakman or Deforest Buckner fell, I’m going to pass on giving them a DT here, and move to the other side of the ball.
Two of the four times Seattle has used their 1st round pick, they have chosen an offensive linemen. That is where I’m targeting for them now.
OL is actually another spot with a lot of question marks rolling forward to 2016. Currently, each of Russell Okung (UFA), Alvin Bailey (RFA), Lemuel Jeanpierre (UFA), and JR Sweezy (UFA) are some type of free agent. That’s 80% of our starting OL. Now, the good news is A) we should have the cap to re-sign a couple of them, B) we reloaded the OL clip in the 2015 draft pretty well (Terry Poole, Mark Glowinski, Kristjan Sokoli, plus Jesse Davis in UDFA). This means; drafting OL this early is not necessarily a need, but I’m mocking an OL because I think he’ll be the best player available.
Joe Dahl – Washington State LT/LG
Joe Dahl is a guy that I’ve yet to start hearing much buzz on nationally, but who has THEE BEST oline tape I’ve seen this offseason. I know the hype is already on Laremy Tunsil and Ronnie Stanley…good. Let em keep it. Let Dahl quietly hang in 2nd-3rd round projections, and then let the Seahawks catch flack for reaching on him in the 1st. I don’t care.
I think the Cowboys have taken flack for drafting both Zack Martin and Travis Frederick in the 1st, but look at their line now…it’s monstrous. Those two Cowboys’ names are also relevant 1) because I think Dahl compares favorably to Martin as a player…a LT in college that projects to an OG in the NFL, and 2) I’d like to draft Dahl closer to where Frederick was taken (#31 overall).
I think Dahl’s most-likely, best position as a pro will be LG. He played there for most of 2013 for the Cougs, before switching to LT at the very end of that season and remained at all of 2014. I think he CAN play LT. I don’t think most teams will let him. I also thought Brandon Scherff would be moved to LG, but Scot McLoughan drafted him to play OT. So, there is some variance by team. On the Seahawks…I think Dahl is an OG.
Dahl at LG #56:
It’s gorgeous tape. It looks so effortless, but that’s because Dahl’s technique is stunning. Such balance, such movement economy. If the Hawks decide either Bailey or Sweezy (to lesser degree: Okung) can’t fit under the cap next year, Dahl will be an upgrade on the cheap.
The more practical, need pick to mock here would probably be a Center (Evan Boehm or Jack Allen), but I just prefer the really high floor of Dahl.
I like a running back early next draft. Turbin is an UFA, CMike is an enigma, and Marshawn may retire before his contract runs out. If you can get your hands on Zeke Elliott, you do it. But more likely you’re targeting a Kareem Hunt or this other guy. Before I mention him by name, some numbers from his 3-year college career (so far):
5’10"/212lbs…directly in the wheelhouse for Seahawk RB specs.
3,410 career rushing yards at a rate of 5.65 yards per carry.
54 career receptions at a rate of 9.35 yards per reception.
61 career touchdowns in 3 years…(Melvin Gordon scored 49 TD’s in 4 years).
I’m VERY particular about the type of RB I like. After searching really thoroughly for my favorite of the 2016 class, I came back to a guy I’ve been watching since 2012, but had somewhat forgotten about last year. The guy I want, that comes at a practical pricetag, and does everything you need in a RB, is:
Kenneth Dixon – Louisiana Tech RB
@DavisHsuSeattle Lots of talent on that LaTech team. Kenneth Dixon is still there and a stud.— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) July 28, 2013
RB Kenneth Dixon of LaTech going for 200 on the ground tonight. Probably the most underrated of the super sophs.— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) October 6, 2013
Early look at RB that fit Seahawk specs: Byron Marshall, Kenneth Dixon, Dreamius Smith, Tra Carson, Jay Ajayi, Keith Marshall, Tre Madden...— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) May 17, 2014
Kenneth Dixon's day probably over early after going 12/184/2 TD. Back on the radar.— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) September 7, 2014
It took me until about three weeks ago to sit and watch Dixon’s tape in-depth. But when I did, I got that itch. This is the guy.
I’ve seen scouting reports that question Kenneth’s burst…I’ve seen some say that Dixon won’t get many yards after contact…if I kept looking for further evaluations, I’d probably find some that question his pass-catching. I feel like draft media like Kenneth enough, but they don’t agree on what Dixon is.
I think he’s everything.
Burst, power, cutbacks, patience, vision, stiff-arm, inside running, outside running, catching, stacking moves, etc.
The guy squats 615lbs. On my eye test, I think he’s got 4.4 speed. He vehicular-manslaughtered at least 1 guy in the Texas A&M game in 2012 and another in the North Texas game in 2014 when he trucked them to death. AND…he passes the interview test.
Third round is the earliest we’ve seen PCJS go for a DT, and this is where I’m targeting a DT for them in 2016. With as many current DT bodies headed to free agency next year, the Seahawks could target a variety of DT body-types here. There’s the squattier, run-stuffing NT type like Rubin (6’1"/325), there’s the really long, base 3tech like McDaniel (6’7"/305), and also a pass-rushing 3tech like Hill or Clinton McDonald (6’2"/297). Hill is one of the lone returning DT’s, so I’m passing over similar players like Sheldon Rankins.
The guy that I’m initially really intrigued by is heading into his redshirt Junior year…he may not declare, but for now, he’s the guy I want. And, coincidentally, he comes from the same school, in the same round as Jordan Hill:
Austin Johnson – Penn State DT
Listed this year at 6’4"/323, Johnson actually fits somewhere between a Rubin and a McDaniel, and likely could be utilized in more versatile ways. In 2014, Austin finished with 49 tackles, 6.0 TFL, 1,0 sack, and 3 PBU in 13 games.
He shows good fire off the snap, nice closing burst when into the backfield, but also good anchor versus double-teams. One of the things I like best about his tape is his game awareness…he knows when to break off his pass rush and get after a receiver on a check down or screen pass.
This is the one pick today that I think is least likely. A) I’m not sure the player is available this late, B) I’m not sure the Hawks address the position this early. But I do think there would be interest.
In PCJS’ tenure here, they have only ever drafted one QB…Russell. At some point, one would think they need a more permanent answer at backup QB than TJack on recycling 1-year deals. Then again, maybe the next guy isn’t TJack, but will still be a vet guy that doesn’t need a couple years of grooming.
In the meantime, I’m mocking the Seahawks’ 3rd round comp pick going to:
Taysom Hill – BYU QB
A couple years ago, Pete mentioned wishing he had a backup QB that could do similar things as Russell. I took that to mean someone that can run the ball a bit, but still throw a good deep ball.
Taysom, at a bit bigger size (6’2"/232), is pretty close in skillsets. Before going down injured for half of 2014, Hill was averaging 5.38ypc on 86 rushes, with 8 rushing TD. Passing-wise, he sat at 66.7% completion rate, 7.4ypa, 141.66 rating, and 7 to 3 TD to INT rate.
My biggest problem with Taysom’s 2014 tape is his eagerness to run. I think he has a tendency to take off running too soon on many plays. Move out of the pocket or find ways to stay elusive in the pocket, but keep the pass open longer as an option. I mean, great spin move and all but NO ONE was near you. Relax a bit.
Arm strength looks good. Note the play at about 5:53 with Taysom moving to his left, throwing across his body, and hitting the receiver perfectly in stride. That’s probably the most Russell-esque play that game.
After hearing last week that Bruce Irvin is now playing at 263lbs, and then seeing highlights of him getting at least two "sacks" in Saturday’s Hawk mock game, I have a feeling Bruce will ball out this year. This is great for our season, but bodes terribly for any intention of bringing Bruce back for 2016. This will be a heavy loss for me personally as Bruce is one of my favorite players/personalities on the team.
But to look to fill his shoes, I am targeting another guy that plays an undersized/hybrid standup and pass-rush linebacker, and who also wears #51. In the 4th round the pick is:
Montese Overton – East Carolina LB
I spotted Overton last year while watching ECU’s Terry Williams. Listed at only 6’3"/221 last year, Montese, like Bruce, is going to have to work a lot to add weight. But what Montese is starting off with is reported 4.3 speed and 36.5" vertical. With that build and athleticism Overton tallied 68 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 4 PBU, and 5 QBH in 2014. In 2013, Overton had a bit better luck (or more snaps) in his pass-rush, and finished with 10.5 TFL and 6.0 sacks.
Even if Overton can’t build up into the 260lb range that Bruce is now in, if he can get to 235-240 that’s an okay weight for a straight-up SAM linebacker. Slot him into competition with KJ, Pinkins, Obum, or whoever is back in 2016, and then let the pass-rush duties Bruce had fall on Cassius Marsh and Frank Clark.
The 5th round has become the Seahawks’ CB central:
2015- Tye Smith
2013- Tharold Simon
2011- Richard Sherman
Although, considering we’re headed into an even-numbered draft year, I should probably mock a CB in the 6th round:
2014- Eric Pinkins (originally drafted to play CB)
2012- Jeremy Lane
Regardless, I have my suspicions that Cary Williams will be a 1-and-done Seahawk, and we may lose some of our other CB prospects to waivers before April 2016. I’ve got a couple of small-school sleeper corners I’m going to be tracking, but for now I’m mocking a pick of SEC corner:
Taveze Calhoun – Mississippi State CB
Taveze is entering the 2015 season coming off ankle surgery, and it’s possible that injury, or subsequent missed time, may keep his stock low enough that he’ll be available in the 5th. He has the right size for what we’re looking for (6’1"/184…like to see him get up to 190 by combine), he has the right attitude in his play, and I love the way he moves.
Only 1 INT in 2014, but a respectable 9 PBU in a Bulldog program that shuffles corners roughly every other series.
This is a bit of a guess pick based on draft history, roster construction, and staying ahead on club control years. Because we haven’t drafted a TE since 2013, the depth behind Luke Willson is UDFA Cooper Helfet (a RFA after 2015), injury-riddled Anthony McCoy (unrestricted free agent after 2015), and Rashaun Allen (probably doesn’t make the team). So, basically, draft your TE3 in 2016, who can then bump up to TE2 in 2017 after Luke walks in free agency.
One of my two favorite TE’s heading into 2015, but the only one of the two projecting to be available after approximately pick #150, is:
Steven Scheu – Vanderbilt TE
Scheu measures 6’5"/250, caught 39 passes for 525 yards (13.46ypc) and 4 TD’s in 2014. Scheu has great hands and surprising body control for a guy his size. He needs work on his blocking, and currently seems better in pass-blocking than run-blocking, but both are serviceable now with upside to become good with coaching.
Rounds 6 & 7 are great places to take chances on guys with crazy high SPARQ. It’s also a good place to take a guy from one position and convert him to another. This player is both.
Giorgio Newberry – FSU DE/DT/TE/OL
Newberry is currently a 6’6"/290lb DT for the Seminoles, but he came to the school as a 6’6"/273lb DE in 2012. In 2013, Giorgio was asked to play TE. Last year he was moved to DT. With his size, and reported 4.93 speed, I want to see what he looks like as an OLineman.
In case Montese Overton doesn’t pan out, here is another pretty SPARQ’d up LB/DE that could step in should Bruce leave next year. He’s listed as 6’4"/255, with a 4.60 forty. Last year he finished with 72 tackles, 19.0 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 5 PBU, 12 QBH, 4 forced fumbles, and a blocked kick. That’s quite a stat line even for a small-schooler.
Matt Judon- Grand Valley State LEO
Judon is one of the best I’ve seen this offseason at really bending the edge, and converting speed to power on his rush. I just see a great natural feel for the best number of steps, and the best angles to get immediately to the QB. But, also with enough awareness to know when to break off his rush and get his hands up to bat passes.