Saturday I took a rambling look at the first three players the Seattle Seahawks took in the 2018 NFL Draft, and in this piece I’m going to blabber on about the final six selections the team made in the draft. Since there are a half a dozen picks for me to cover and I’m likely to wander off on a tangent or two as I did in the other piece, I’ll simply jump right in to the discussion.
Moving through the picks in the order they were made means the starting point is Shaquem Griffin. I love the Griffin selection, as he has boatloads of athleticism, and now it’s simply a matter of finding the position for which he is best suited. I know the team has stated that he’ll start out backing up K.J. Wright at WILL (weakside) linebacker, but if that is where they are going to keep him I’d like to see him add some weight. He weighed in at just 227 pounds at the combine, while Wright and Bobby Wagner have both weighed in above 240. At 227 pounds he’s much closer in weight to linebackers they’ve drafted like Kevin Pierre-Louis (232), Malcolm Smith (226) and Korey Toomer (234).
This is not to say I don’t think he’ll be successful, I think it will simply be a matter of seeing how his body develops when he gets into the NFL. I could be completely off base in my thinking since I don’t have firsthand knowledge, but my concern with him trying to add weight to bulk up and play linebacker is that he may have a hard time adding enough weight. From pictures his body composition appears to me to give him some weight that is likely to come off, which means he may have to add a ton more muscle to get up to the 245-250 range to play linebacker. Just to show you what I mean by that, here is a picture of him from the combine sleeveless.
Now, I’m in no way saying he’s out of shape or in bad shape, but a very basic way to ballpark body fat composition is to judge shoulder muscle definition. Looking at Griffin’s should in that picture, there isn’t a lot of definition around his deltoids. Now, compare that to a picture of Chris Carson from the combine last year and how his shoulders look (Yes, I realize Carson is running so his arm muscles are flexed, but the difference is readily apparent).
However, while I have concerns about Griffin being able to add enough weight to play linebacker in the NFL, I’m not concerned about him being able to find a fit on the field at all. The reason for that is very simple, as it’s something I’ve gone over in the past and will continue to bring up going forward because of how strongly we know the team like to mirror physical and athletic profiles. Well, here’s Shaquem and Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald side by side.
Athletic profile comparison of Shaquem Griffin to Bradley McDougald
|Event||Shaquem Griffin||Bradley McDougald|
|Event||Shaquem Griffin||Bradley McDougald|
So, in summary, to me it simply seems to be a matter of whether Griffin bulks up or whether he slims down a bit when he gets to the NFL. If he adds weight, great, he’s a linebacker. If he slims down, great, he’s a safety. In the meantime he should certainly be able to contribute on special teams and as a situation pass rusher, so in any case it’s not a waste of a roster spot as he develops.
Moving on to the second player the Hawks drafted in the fifth round, Tre Flowers is an athletic defensive back with length. I certainly hope that he is able to make the conversion from safety to cornerback, as the team was not able to squeeze any regular season playing time out of the two prior safety to corner conversion projects in Eric Pinkins and Mike Tyson. My hope is that Flowers pick up on what the Seahawks want out of a corner so fast that he locks down the second corner spot opposite Shaquill Griffin and the team is able to jettison guys like Dontae Johnson and Byron Maxwell. That would not only help the team in terms of salary cap, it would put the team in position to potentially not have to worry about who is manning the cornerback spots for several years to come.
Next up is punter Michael Dickson. Dickson can reportedly make the ball do amazing things when it comes off his foot, but not even he’s a miracle worker. In 2016, despite a season high eight punts which covered 350 yards, Dickson couldn’t prevent the Texas Longhorns from becoming only one of three Power 5 conference teams to lose to the mighty Kansas Jayhawks since 2011 (the other two were West Virginia on 11/16/13 and Iowa State on 11/8/14).
In any case, Dickson won the Ray Guy Award for being the best punter in college football last season, just like Ryan Plackemeier, aka Gus the Mule, did in 2005 before being drafted by the Seahawks in 2006. So, Jon Ryan has already beaten out one Ray Guy Award winner during his time with the Hawks, and now it’s time to see if he’s still got it in him to beat yet another.
Following up on the Dickson selection, Seattle used its fourth fifth round selection to take Jamarco Jones out of Ohio State. Jones is probably a great guy, and he certainly has the height and length to be a tackle, but I’ve already made my concerns about his athleticism abundantly clear. In summary, for those who got tired of watching Rees Odhiambo get beat around the edge repeatedly over the first half of the 2017 season because Odhiambo doesn’t have the speed to play left tackle in the NFL, Jones is even slower.
Athletic profile comparison of Rees Odhiambo to Jamarco Jones
|Event||Rees Odhiambo||Jamarco Jones|
|Event||Rees Odhiambo||Jamarco Jones|
Adding in that Odhiambo was reportedly performing at less than his peak because he was just five months and a week removed from a broken ankle suffered in a game against Wyoming his senior year, and I’ve certainly got concerns. I’m not saying it will be impossible for Jones to find success in the NFL, as he compares athletically to lots of guards that have enjoyed long and successful careers, but his athleticism certainly does not compare well to many tackles, particularly those playing on the left side. Now, he certainly has the length to play tackle, so it would seem it will come down to whether he can improve his athleticism enough to allow him to stick around at the NFL level.
If he’s able to improve his athleticism, then he could be a long term starter in the NFL because when he gets his hands on guys squarely, it’s typically game over. Thus, they’ve got to get him to bulk up (he weighed in under 300 pounds at the combine) and work on the quickness in his first couple of steps, and he could be something. It will certainly be something to watch for in camp.
Sliding back to the sixth round, Seattle added Jacob Martin out of Temple. Martin may be my favorite pick of the draft for the simple reason that he compares so favorably athletically to Cliff Avril. That’s probably a death sentence when it comes to his chances to actually make the roster, but I’m definitely going to be watching to see how he does when training camp starts.
Now to head off on one of my tangents with some barely related trivia facts. On the subject of being related, Jacob Martin is the younger brother of Josh Martin, who started nine games for the New York Jets in 2017. Going down this completely meaningless wormhole of connections, Josh was part of the 2013 undrafted free agent class for the Kansas City Chiefs that also included Bradley McDougald. Both McDougald and Josh Martin made the final 53 man roster for Week 1 of the 2013 season, but the Chiefs then released both of them in the second half of September. They both spent time on the practice squad before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers grabbed McDougald in November.
Then, two years later after Josh Martin failed to make the active roster for the Chiefs in 2015, which team came along and employed him for two weeks? The Bucs, making he and McDougald teammates for a little over three weeks in September and October 2015, though he spent the last week on injured reserve.
That’s a long roundabout explanation of the fact that McDougald has now been teammates with both of the Martin brothers.
And that brings the discussion to the final selection for the Seahawks in the draft, Alex McGough. All I’ve got to say about this pick is that it’s about flipping time the team drafted a real quarterback, and by real quarterback I obviously mean someone who wouldn’t be cast as one of the munchkins if he were trying to get a job as an actor in The Wizard of Oz. Fans like to talk about how Seattle was the dynasty that could have been, well obviously it was having a short quarterback that led to the team coming up short of a Lombardi in five of the six seasons since Russell Wilson was drafted.
Now that the Seahawks finally have a taller quarterback under contract for the next four years, the league might as well call off the games under the pretense of player safety and ship four Lombardi trophies to the Virginia Mason Athletic Center at 12 Seahawks Way in Renton. To me, it’s the only sensible thing to do.
And, in addition to the height he brings, McGough fills the sleeve void that has been somewhat missing since Cassius Marsh was shipped off to the New England Patriots in early September.
During the preseason I’ll certainly be watching the competition between McGough and Austin Davis for the backup role, and will be happy regardless of the outcome because neither outcome is Jake Heaps.
That wraps up my review of the Seahawks draft picks, and now I’ve just got to come up with more ramblings to fill the void between now and the start of training camp, which I’m guessing will be July 25th.
Under Article 21, Section 6 of the CBA, teams may not require veteran players to report to training camp more than 15 days prior to the first preseason game.— John Gilbert (@SeahawksMachine) May 11, 2018
Expect the Seahawks to have veterans report to camp on 7/25, with rookies and first year players a couple days earlier. https://t.co/5hz7AJkZ4b