This year, you will see the Seattle Seahawks taking an offensive lineman in the first round on at least 80% of mock drafts. Right up until the point that they trade their first round pick for a wide receiver.
The reality may be that Pete Carroll and John Schneider feel no pressure to take a lineman on day one and if they do, prepare to be underwhelmed. It’s not as though with the 26th overall pick you can expect to get your starting left tackle for the next decade. It just doesn’t work like that. Maybe you do, but your expectations should be: James Carpenter. Germain Ifedi. This is the baseline.
That is especially true of the 2017 draft where the OL group is expected to be among the least-rich positions of the class. No offensive lineman is expected to go in the top 10, maybe not even the top 20. If any of them do emerge through the combine and pro day process, they’ll be snatched up way before 26. Instead, Schneider might just want to get a really good cornerback, linebacker, defensive tackle, or other on day one (let’s be honest: they’re trading out of the first round anyway) and snag three offensive linemen on days two and three.
That is their m.o. and I have the proof.
On Tuesday, rotoworld writer Rich Hribar posted a spreadsheet of draft pick allocation over the last five years:
Draft pick allocation over the past 5 years... pic.twitter.com/oBTkRkR1fW— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) February 7, 2017
Since 2012, the Seahawks have drafted 48 players, which is tied with the Cleveland Browns as the second-most in that span (with near equal results, am I right?) and 24 of them have been on offense, 24 of them have been on defense. At first glance it looks like there is equal attention given to both sides of the ball, which only the Denver Broncos can also claim, but there is a problem with these numbers that I’m sure you’re already onto.
Look at how many defensive tackles they’ve taken in that time, which is nine, way more than any other team. Four teams have only drafted one defensive tackle in that time. However, there is a pretty big discrepancy in that number: He’s counting J.R. Sweezy, Jared Smith, and Kristjan Sokoli, all of whom are listed as defensive tackles in the draft but were always intended to be offensive linemen for the Seahawks.
What this means instead though is that Seattle, per this list (which we’ve already noted is a little skewed), have drafted more offensive linemen than any other team in the last five years. Yikes.
Those linemen are: Sweezy, Ryan Seymour, Smith, Michael Bowie, Justin Britt, Garrett Scott, Terry Poole, Mark Glowinski, Sokoli, Ifedi, Rees Odhiambo, and Joey Hunt. Three of the 12 are current starters, one is a former regular starter, two are current backups, five got little to no time with the team before being released, and the other is Bowie.
The Seahawks will no doubt add to that number in 2017 and continue to be the worldwide leader in offensive linemen drafted. The only question is at what point do they at least become worldwide average in quality of offensive linemen?