This is the last look we will have before the combine, so soon we will be way more informed on some of these guys. The trade today is very realistic, so no concerns there.
These are not intended as a prediction of what will happen, they are merely a vehicle to look at different players that the front office may be looking at. With that, I will probably change who I draft just about every time, just to take a little bit closer look at more players at different levels of the draft at different positions. I will also trade out of the 1st every time I publish one of these. There are plenty of other places where you can learn about the first round and even the top of the second, here we want to look at all the other guys. In the end, we may find some draft “crushes” and know more names throughout the draft.
Big Board Order
I use different big board just about every time. None of them are perfect and I realize that none of them match. Some guys will go higher and some guys will go lower. The point is that we take a look at lots of guys, so don’t get too hung up on where someone is drafted.
Today’s was a CBS compilation.
I use fanspeak to simulate the drafts. I paid for the premium edition, so it lets me do trades. I realize that many trades aren’t realistic, but based on my wish to look at more possible players, I don’t care either.
I am not a scout, nor do I pretend to be. I will give my thought process on drafting a guy, but will link and copy to other scouts and give you what they think of him, which is probably much higher quality than what you would get from me.
Here is my draft for today. I am super happy with it:
Seattle sends picks 1:21 to CLE for picks 2.17, 3.16, 3.31 and 4.17
R2.17: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
R3.16: D’Andre Walker, Leo, Georgia
R3.20: Isaiah Buggs, DT, Alabama
R3.31: Zach Gentry, TE, Michigan
R4.17: Ben Burr-Kirven, LB, Washington
R4.22: David Sills, WR, West Virginia
R5.21: Ryan Bates, OG, Penn St.
Seahawks at pick 2.17 (from CLE) select: CHAUNCEY GARDNER-JOHNSON, S, FLORIDA
Measurements: 5-11 207
He has played S and slot CB and has all the tools to be either, but I would project him as our FS of the future.
Gardner-Johnson is the perfect modern NFL safety except for one thing: all-around consistency as a player. If you looked at his 2017 tape, you’d have seen a train wreck as a run defender and tackler, but a promising playmaker in coverage. This year, he was a little inconsistent in coverage as a slot corner, but remarkably improved in his physicality and tackling.
The reality is that there will probably always be some level of variance to Gardner-Johnson as a player, but I don’t think his lows are that low if the tackling is cleaned up as it was this year, and his highs are pretty dang high. When you consider all that he can bring to a defense with his combination of size, athleticism, range, ball skills and versatility, CGJ is a slight gamble that I would feel just fine taking in Round 2. He can help a defense right away, whether as a true free safety or in a nickel corner capacity, and still has the upside to become a more consistent playmaker as his career continues.
Seahawks pick at 3.16: D’ANDRE WALKER, LEO, GEORGIA
Measurements: 6-2 240
Still developing as a pass rusher, but will set the edge and has the tools to be a great LEO.
A four-year contributor, Walker didn’t start until his final season at Georgia but displayed steady growth throughout his career. A versatile prospect, Walker has the upside to work as a 3-4 outside linebacker and play defensive end in even fronts. While he is most polished currently as a run defender, Walker has the tools to develop into a productive pass rusher. In order for him to reach his ceiling rushing the passer in the NFL, fixing his stance and developing his hand usage is critical. Likely a sub-package player initially, Walker has the traits to become a starter by year three with continued growth.
Seahawks select at 3.20: ISAIAH BUGGS, DT, ALABAMA
Measurements: 6-4 292
Disruptive and versatile DT.
Isaiah Buggs is a burly interior defensive lineman who plays on the edge for Alabama in their base packages on early downs. That role won’t suit his lack of athleticism well in the NFL, but Buggs is a power-playing, slow-burn pass rusher who can discard offensive linemen with his hands or run through them to the pocket as well. He’s a load when he brings it, capable of lining up all over the defensive front as a capable pass rusher and consistent point-of-attack threat against the run. Can Buggs ever be a high-impact player at the next level, especially without special traits?
Seahawks select at 3.31 (from CLE): ZACH GENTRY, TE, MICHIGAN
Measurements: 6-4 246
A receiving TE to develop and a target for Russ from day one.
Zach Gentry is a seam-buster Tight End prospect who has attractive size and mobility to be considered a receiving asset at the next level. His height will serve as a natural barrier to playing with necessary functional strength, but when Gentry is placed into space and allowed to work vertically he does strong work against linebackers and safeties. Gentry may never be a featured full-time TE but his skills have a place at the next level as a receiving threat.
Seahawks select at 4.17 (from CLE): BEN BURR-KIRVEN, LB, WASHINGTON
Measurements: 6-0 222
Undersized, but a tackling machine that can cover from WILL.
PROS: A bat outta hell in terms of explosiveness and physicality. Fires into oncoming blockers with great speed-to-power conversion. Uses his hands to win the chest plate and displace players over 100+ lbs heavier than he is. Explosiveness and physicality also allow him to rip through gaps when attack the backfield, which adds to his disruptive ability. Plays excellent reps as the overhang defender against screens and jets, as he can cover distance quickly and typically takes good angles downhill to the football. Does well to key the run first from overhang alignment while still staying connected to the potential passing concept; loves to get an early and aggressive jump on the blocking scheme. Has to be proactive attacking blockers given size constraints.
In pass coverage, has the quickness to run with slot receivers in the intermediate areas and does well to carry them deep with speed. Excels as a short zone defender, especially in hook curl zones. Plays with his eyes in the backfield and understands the defensive structure behind him; always gains depth into necessary space. Will bait quarterback into certain throws that he knows are coming, always doing well to pass off routes when multiple receivers are attacking his area. Gets connected quickly when quarterback looks to his zone and is comfortable playing with receiver on his back. Closes quickly to the football on underneath passes. Pursuit across field is great; loves to run and hit.
CONS: Very undersized for the linebacker position and likely projects best as a box safety or money-backer hybrid in the NFL; his role is limited. Even with the impressive physicality with which he plays LB in college, it’s tough to see the transition going well. That physicality will help him, however, as an overhang defender. Will play a bit out of control on pursuit angles and come to the ball-carrier too hot. He struggles to gear down, and accordingly allows runners to cut in behind him and move upfield. Not a great form tackler who tends to come too high into contact--again, often because he doesn’t have his weight settled under him--but does well to latch on and drag. Not a hitter and doesn’t have a good blitz profile given lack of size--though a move to overhang does mitigate that concern.
Seahawks select at 4.22: DAVID SILLS, WR, WEST VIRGINIA
Measurements: 6-4 205
A tall, fast, dependable big target.
David Sills V projects as a potential X-receiver in the NFL. At West Virginia, Sills has been granted a lot of isolated routes and free releases. Those will need to be accounted for in looking to maximize Sills. Size and high point ability have the potential to be indefensible in one on one reps. Sills projects best into a vertical passing system, he isn’t necessarily going to make a lot of noise running routes in the shallow areas of the field.
Seahawks select at 5.21: RYAN BATES, G, PENN ST
Measurements: 6-4, 305
A big developmental OL who can play guard and tackle.
PROS: Can be a bit of a chameleon up front, capable of playing Guard or Tackle as needed, making him a potential 6th offensive lineman or flex starter with further physical development, which should add to his value. Bates shows effective hand usage to win stalemates against pass rushers in pass protection. Prefers a club in this regard, dropping a defender’s hands and allowing him to reset his placement. Plays with pleasant, active feet to further generate push up front and reset the line of scrimmage. Footwork allows for lateral mobility and effectiveness outside concepts in the run game.
CONS: Too often comes up empty handed on first punch as a drive blocker. Needs to get more sticky in the hands in order to latch onto the torso of bodies and transition push up the field into an established block. Length is a guilty party in this regard, preventing optimal extension.