When the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles square off it will be a matchup not just between two potential NFC playoff teams, it will be a matchup of teams for which many of the selections each made on day two of the 2018 NFL draft have turned out to remarkably similar. The Eagles held eight picks in the draft, including two on day two while the Seahawks had eleven selections overall including six on day two.
Seattle traded back multiple times, moving from late in the first to finally holding the third selection of the second round. The team used that pick on Malik McDowell, the type of disruptive defensive lineman they had been searching for since after the 2013 season. Unfortunately for the team and fans, McDowell suffered severe injuries in a July ATV accident, and has yet to contribute on the field for the team after being placed on the Non-Football Injury list early during training camp. The possibility that McDowell never sees the field for the Seahawks is rumored to be very real, but with the limited amount of information that has been provided on the specifics of his injuries, it is nothing but speculation.
Eight picks after the Seahawks chose McDowell, the Eagles selected cornerback Sidney Jones out of the University of Washington. Jones was a standout for the Huskies and was expected to be a first round pick of the team, however, at his Pro Day in March Jones had ruptured his Achilles which led to him falling down in the draft. As a result of his Achilles injury Jones has spent the entirety of the season so far on the Non-Football Injury list, just like McDowell.
The fact that both McDowell and Jones have so far spent their rookie seasons on NFI means the 464 snaps the two teams have gotten out of the three second round selections between them have all come from Ethan Pocic. Seattle used their own second round pick to select him, and he started several games at left guard before transitioning to right guard when Luke Joeckel returned last week against the San Francisco 49ers.
Further, after each team used their first selection on a defensive lineman, both teams then used a late third round pick on a 21-year-old cornerback. The Seahawks selected Shaquill Griffin out of Central Florida with pick 3.90, and then Philadelphia used pick 3.99 to take Rasul Douglas from West Virginia. Both Griffin and Douglas have appeared in ten games, with Griffin starting six and Douglas starting four, and it appears either player could be a major contributor for their team for several years to come.
Thus day 2 of the NFL draft for each of these teams yielded a second round pick used on a player that would wind up on NFI, while also adding a young cornerback late in the third round. Seattle had several other day two picks in the 2017 NFL draft, including those spent on Amara Darboh and Nazair Jones. Jones has flashed at times on the interior of the defensive line, while Darboh has seen his snap count slowly increase over the course of the season.
In short, these two teams drafted similarly early in the 2017 NFL draft, but Seattle had a far greater number of selections due to the combination of the Eagles trading away significant capital for the right to draft Carson Wentz and the Seahawks consistently trading down to add a greater number of selections. And of the selections the teams did make, they combined to draft both of the second round picks in the entire league who are currently on the NFI list, while using third round picks on cornerbacks who are the fourth and sixth youngest cornerbacks in the NFL to have started four or more games this season.
What do the similarities mean? In the words of Spaceballs, absolutely nothing. It’s just kind of interesting.