Ask anybody on earth, from a die hard Seattle Seahawks fan to a blind man who has never left his home in Papua New Guinea and doesn’t own a television or radio, and they’ll tell you that the Seahawks need to add some quality o-linemen. This is as known to humanity as blue skies and breathing. Unfortunately, and this is known to only about 94% of all humans on earth, this is not a great draft for o-linemen.
In the first round, the only standouts appear to be tackle Garett Bolles and guard Forrest Lamp; both will probably be off the board before Seattle picks at 26. One of the reasons that we know for sure that the Seahawks prefer offensive linemen of a certain athletic profile is that Tom Cable has said so, in no uncertain terms.
"There are some measureables," Cable told Softy, "there are some things that we want them to have."
"Kristjan [Sokoli] checked out on all that. The really cool thing about this group: All of them are broad jumpers of 9-feet or more, they all vertical over 31-inches, they all can lift 27-plus, and they all can change direction the right way."
Softy pressed him, "You mention 31, nine, and 27-plus, is that kind of the barometer for you? Do you have a set of numbers that you say, okay, if i were to create an offensive lineman from clay, these are the numbers in the broad jump, the vertical leap, the bench press that I'm looking for. Are those the numbers that you're looking for — the ones you just quoted?"
"Yeah," replied Cable.
Cable added that the team liked Sokoli’s 4.83 in the 40 and his 4.36 in the short shuttle. There’s been plenty of talk about SPARQ but Rob Staton’s TEF (Trench Explosion Formula) has been at least as equally predictive when it comes to offensive line: The Seahawks pretty much need to see a TEF score of 2.9 at the absolute lowest, and mostly cracking well above 3.0. The lowest we know if is Germain Ifedi at 2.97.
Well, this class doesn’t have many 3’s: Lamp is at 3.23, Bolles is at 3.00, and squeezing in between them despite his 326 lb frame ... Nico Siragusa at 3.13
A guard out of San Diego State, Siragusa had a broad jump of 9’4”, a vertical of 32”, and did 28 reps on the bench. Per FootballPerspective, Siragusa had the best weight-adjusted vertical among all offensive linemen this year, gaining 4.7 more inches than one would have expected. His 40-yard dash of 5.35 was not special, but his short shuttle of 4.56 was the third-fastest, just .01 seconds behind Bolles. (Bolles ran a 4.95 and is 100% a player Seattle would love to see fall to 26, but that is highly unlikely.)
Siragusa is possibly the best athlete at offensive line who won’t go in round one. Since the Seahawks have three third round picks — and none in rounds four or five — it seems more than possible that John Schneider could use one of them on Siragusa, a three-year starter at guard for the Aztecs, who just paved the way for running back Donnel Pumphrey to become the NCAA’s all-time leading rusher. So why wouldn’t Siragusa go in rounds one or two?
Well, the first thing, and something that won’t be unfamiliar to Seattle fans, is that Siragusa is said to struggle in pass protection. For those who are looking for the Seahawks to draft five dudes who will suddenly be able to keep Russell Wilson upright while also opening up huge running lanes for Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls — find a new hobby. But also, Siragusa could potentially still be a target for Seattle at the end of round two; it’s a move similar to the one they made with Justin Britt back in 2014.
Britt was projected as a “6-7 round pick” by NFL.com and though Britt is two inches taller than Siragusa, the two have very similar frames (319-325 lbs, both have 33.5” arms, Siragusa has slightly bigger hands and tested much better at the combine).
Siragusa also checks the box of having a background and family life that was not always easy, as his family struggled to make ends meet due to his father’s kidney problems, and a disabled sister who passed away when Nico was only one. The last update on his father Ramon Siragusa (the family shares no relation to former NFLer Tony Siragusa) that I could find was that he was still in need of a kidney back in 2013. Whether he has received the transplant or not, as soon as Nico signs his first contract, the family will be in much better position to care for him and themselves; these are typically the types of stories Pete Carroll is drawn to.
Siragusa has also written a short essay about his draft process experience for CBS.
For the fans of any team that drafts me, know that I’m bringing a toughness with me. I’m a guy who works hard every day, brings his hard hat with him every day and I’m going to give my all to whatever team picks me.
The Seahawks know they can’t reasonably come out of this draft without an offensive lineman of note. Bolles and Lamp seem unlikely for the first round, though not impossible. Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk has not done any testing except for the bench, and his 25 reps there failed to hit the mark of 27. (Not that he’s off Seattle’s board, but that’s just all we know of his testing.) Few others will check all the boxes, or even the majority of the boxes. There’s Bolles’ teammate at Utah, Isaac Asiata, and then there’s Siragusa. The more I look at Siragusa, the more I wonder if he’s not the player that the Seahawks feel they have to come away with in this draft, and they have one of those every year.
Anyone around the world should be able to see that by now.