This seven-round mock is built upon the presupposition that John Schneider has multiple parallel draft blueprints, and each one is an avenue for him to accomplish the six crucial goals that will make it a(nother) great draft.
Schneider has a lot of different options because the Seattle Seahawks are close to set for 2017. Already. Their needs are few. They could urgently use, right now, another cornerback. That’s... about it. Skill positions? Got ‘em. Offensive linemen? Added two free agents to supplement the new guys from the 2016 draft. Third linebacker? They dove into the fray and bargain shopped until their hands were covered in paper cuts from all the coupons. Does any one team really, really need a backup quarterback? If he plays a ton you’re probably not making the playoffs, because your starter was bad, or got hurt.
As long as Seattle comes out of the draft with some people to compete now, or later, at the thinnest or shallowest spots on the roster — CB, OL, LB, QB — then the goals are met. The “or later” is especially important. I doubt more than a couple guys from the 2017 draft play truly significant rookie minutes; it’s much less certain that the Seahawks are set for 2018 and beyond. Therefore we’re bound to see restocking in places you might not have considered. I also found the time to add a couple of sorely needed selections for next year’s draft as well.
Identified below are four talent goals and two asset goals Seattle would be smart to shoot for starting Thursday. (HOLY BEAST MODE, GUYS, THE DRAFT IS IN THREE DAYS IT ACTUALLY DID ARRIVE AFTER ALL)
- Take advantage of a deep DB class
- GET THAT GUY
- Restock for 2018 and 2019
- Get going on another round of backup quarterback development
- Fill the current 4th- and 5th-round selection void
- Replenish the “missing” 2018 comp picks
(About that last goal: the Seahawks received two third-round comps this time around but who’s leaving this offseason that will net a comp pick? Right. Nobody. Maybe Stephen Hauschka?)
Expect then, a ton of moves — I mean, this is our GM we’re talking about here — with the understanding that I’m using any draft value charts as guides, not as gospel. Here are, in order, the Seahawks’ existing assets, what I turned them into, and what actual players they became. Man. A guy could get used to pretending to be John Schneider.
Seattle’s assets entering the draft
- 3.102 (comp)
- 3.106 (comp)
The 104-pick gap and the lack of an eighth or ninth selection must be remedied.
Seattle’s assets eventually used in this mock draft
- 1.31 (traded down twice)
- 2.44 (serious trade up)
- 4.132 (gained in trade)
- 4.136 (gained in trade)
- 5.181 (gained in trade)
- 5.188 (gained in trade)
- 6.195 (gained in trade)
With nine immediate picks, arranged 1-2-3-4-4-5-5-6-7, that looks a lot more like a Seahawks draft.
Seattle’s adjustments for the 2018 draft
- Gained CLE 2018 fifth-rounder
- Gained KC 2018 fifth-rounder
- Lost own 2018 sixth-rounder
It’s not much but it’s something, which is technically better than nothing. Provided there are no petulant league sanctions levied for threatening to disrupt parity.
Seattle’s new exciting players revealed
Finally. You’ve read far enough already.
1.31 — Obi Melifonwu, DB, Connecticut (draft profile)
Why him, why now: Melifonwu will be seen as a reach by many if he’s taken in the first round. But I’m betting he’d disappear at 2.34 into the Black Hole Of Santa Clara.
He’s a 3sigma. The most athletic of the most athletic prospects. If you’ve been around Field Gulls for a while (and most of you have), the name Zach Whitman will mean something to you. At 3sigmaathlete.com, Whitman has some hefty words to share about Melifonwu.
We now have a new member to induct; Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu. I’ve waited to announce as we didn’t have his Combine 10-split and his pro day short shuttle time was difficult to pin down. Values between 4.09 and 4.30 have been reported, and I wasn’t comfortable finalizing Obi until i knew he’d stick. With the full data back now, he’d be a 3sig even with the short shuttle lower bound of 4.30. With the more widely reported 4.09, he lands at 3.3 sigma, clearly the best safety athlete of at least the last 19 draft classes.
After the Seahawks confirmed interest in Obi by meeting him mutiple times this offseason, it became easier to picture him in blue and green, at either corner or safety, either immediately or down the line.
2.44 — Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida (draft profile)
Why him, why now: If you were to describe the prototypical Pete Carroll cornerback, you could do a hell of a lot worse than starting with Wilson’s body.
6-foot-1, 211 pounds, with 32 1⁄4 arms and 9 5/8 hands.
For reference: Byron Maxwell checked in at 6-0, 202, 33 1⁄2 and 9 1⁄2 hands. But Maxwells don’t fall to the sixth round anymore. That’s so 2011.
Anyway, Wilson is Schneider’s GET THAT GUY move. As explained below, moving up to get him costs multiple picks, a la Tyler Lockett 2015. You’re climbing 14 spots to get him — which you can do because earlier you traded back to 1.31 and gained the assets necessary to do so.
For salivation purposes, Wilson is a stat monster, too. Pro Football Focus found the Gator star allowed a 34.6 completion rate — 16 catches on 46 throws. Good enough for the top mark in the SEC and fifth nationally.
After a predictable run on cornerbacks in the bottom of the first round and top of the second, the pricey trade up becomes necessary. Honestly I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Seahawks use their first-rounder on Wilson. If you’re a JS, it’s what you do.
3.90 — Joe Mathis, DE, Washington (draft profile)
Why him, why now: He’s hurt, there’s a scary foot surgery added to his CV, but he’s at least a second-round talent when healthy, a guy with a nose for the quarterback, as the Huskies’ leading sackmaker even in an incomplete season. If Schneider’s intelligence on other teams shows someone will take him in the fourth, then the only way to sidestep is to take him before the fourth round actually begins. Could totally be a Bruce Irvin type but 75 picks later — and the Seahawks don’t need him anyway in 2017 because of Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Frank Clark and Cassius Marsh. But they well might in 2018. All the puzzle pieces fit.
The only 3-4 OLB with a higher pass rushing productivity than Alabama's Tim Williams this year? UW's Joe Mathis. Big absence in Peach Bowl— Gordon McGuinness (@PFF_Gordon) December 28, 2016
4.132 — Kenny Golladay, WR, N. Illinois (draft profile)
Why him, why now: In this spot you have two quick picks so you can restock in whichever order the players fall to you. Feeling good that your favored DT will still be there at 136? Take the big receiver, go with your 6-foot-4, 218-pound big target type, the one you’ve been pining for since Big Mike Williams became a little toooo big. You might have no tall pass catchers on the roster in 2018 otherwise.
Two knocks on Golladay are his lack of big-program experience and his questionable run-blocking. Seahawks would be tasked with fixing both of those as he sits on the periphery of the 53-man, perhaps learning the ropes as a special-teamer at first.
4.136 — Jarron Jones, DT, Notre Dame (draft profile)
Why him, why now: Freak athlete is why. Former offensive lineman, former basketball player, 6-foot-6 so he would have some center of gravity issues, but Jones is said to rush the passer well and blocked four kicks while at Notre Dame. Yay height. Team is also lacking Irish since the departure of Golden Tate. Needs must be filled.
5.181 — Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming (draft profile)
Why him, why now: There are important components to every Seahawks draft, and one is “the head-scratcher.” Your head is scratched. Careful for flakes. With Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, C.J. Prosise, and Troymaine Pope already on the roster, there is no room for another running back. (Edit: and Alex Collins too!) Enter Hill, a dual rushing-receiving threat from Wyoming.
Career rushing average is 5.5 but since that came against inferior competition, much more enticing are the 22 touchdowns last year and the 41 career receptions.
If you’re starting to wonder, yes, there is an FBS undercurrent to this draft, and Hill is where it begins.
5.188 — Jerry Ugokwe, OT, William and Mary (draft profile)
Why him, why now: Athletic. Raw. Small school. Interesting backstory. Positionally flexible with time spent at both tackle positions. Have we ever known the Seahawks to be interested in that kind of player?
The money line comes from cbssports.com:
A team could get a similar return on the investment with Ugokwe, who may require a bit of patience but possesses rare traits.
6.195 — Jerod Evans, QB, Virginia Tech (draft profile)
Why him, why now: Mobile, cannon arm, thick, transferred from the small-time to the big-time, logged time in multiple systems. Four out of those fice boxes make him a prime Seahawks target. In the sixth round you’re not checking all the boxes on anyone, not realistically at least. He can wrestle Trevone Boykin, or Boykin’s replacement, for the backup spot. Evans doesn’t need to play right away, and hopefully doesn’t even see the field in a significant moment for a long time.
VT’s spread offense won’t do him any favors in the NFL, but good ball protection (29 TD - 8 INT) and superior mobility (12 rushing TD) will.
7.226 — Matt Davis, K, UNC-Pembroke (draft profile)
Why him, why now: A kicker? Seriously? Why not another offensive lineman, or more whimsically, the Seahawks seventh-round standard, a fullback who won’t make the 53? Considered both of those equally attractive options, but then weighed the importance of a Blair Walsh hedge against the ability of this front office to identify the project lineman they want in the UDFA stage. The kicker won.
Davis also has a background as a punter, which would come in awfully handy in case of another epic Jon Ryan faceplant. His draft profile says he made six out of seven 50+ kicks, so you know he has the distance. Oh, and that profile contains one gem:
Generates good trajectory on long field goals
Schneider and Carroll might also be tired of watching kicks get blocked, you know.
How we got there
Predictably, 1.26 became 1.31, but it wasn’t through a straight trade with Atlanta.
Swap 1.26 for GB 1.29
Gain GB 4.134 and GB 5.172 in the process. Have to throw in SEA 6.210 to make it happen because the Packers don’t just give away picks. Worth it.
Swap that new 1.29 for ATL’s 1.31
Gain ATL 4.136 by doing so. Seattle now sits 1-2-3-3-3-4-4-5-7. Very nice.
Swap 2.58 and significant stuff for BUF 2.44 and 6.195
GET THAT GUY is in full effect. Moving up 14 spots ends up costing one of the comps, one of the fourths, a sixth from next year, but the Seahawks get a sixth back this year. Haha GB. Buffalo’s motivation here? They are short on mid-range selections and could really use the infusion.
Actually use 3.90 (weird, I know).
Swap 3.106 for KC 4.132 and 5.170 and a 2018 fifth. Thank goodness for the ability to trade comp picks (finally).
KC has an excess of assets (10 picks) and feels like their title window is now. They move up 26 spots from 4.132 because there are no longer a ton of great DB’s on the board to put opposite Marcus Peters.
Non-Moves F and G
Actually use 4.132 and 4.136. That’s why you made the trades!
Swap 5.170 and 5.172 for CLE 5.181 and 5.188 and a 2018 fifth. You do it because you figure that could be a very high fifth.
Non-moves I and J
Clean up by hitting a home run with either 6.195 or 7.226, just like in the good old days, which became the good now days.