For the third consecutive year, I’ve compiled the prospects who fit the profile of a Seattle Seahawks target into a draft board. The purpose of this exercise, for those unfamiliar, is to narrow down the pool of prospects to look at. Every year, there are well over 300 players who are discussed as potential draft picks (and more who land in rookie minicamps), but no team considers each and every one. Generally, a team will have around 150 players on their board by the time the draft rolls around. The first edition of the 2020 Seahawks Draft Board checks in at 136.
As always, this draft board is a living document and it will be updated as pro days happen, meaning prospects will be added, or dropped, as their athletic profile comes together. This year more than ever will see changes, as a large number of prospects listed currently have incomplete testing. The goal this year, however, is to be more accurate and more forgiving of a missed threshold or skewed testing. With that in mind, there’s been some changes:
- Last year, we theorized that Seattle might drop below their 32-inch arm length threshold at cornerback, should it be for a nickel. Former Seahawks area scout Jim Nagy confirmed they would do so for a slot corner, should one be an option, and they did in Ugo Amadi. Thus, a nickel category has been added on this year’s board with a 31 1/2” arm threshold and a slightly higher emphasis on agility and change of direction.
- A big part of what makes the pre-draft process so interesting is that it provides so many learning opportunities. A big one came for me last year, as I was quite vocal in my belief that reported interest in L.J. Collier was nonsense due to his testing. Collier’s selection made me reevaluate, and I found splitting the EDGEs into two categories, 5-tech and LEO, made sense. The team’s evaluation of 5-techs sees the thresholds loosen, particularly in relation to the agility drills. Their arm length threshold remains steadfast.
- In past years, I’ve kept an eye on the 10-yard splits on defense, especially at EDGE where Seattle’s quite consistent in their drafting. This year, I’ve added it to defensive positions, again, in an effort to be more accurate. (Though unfortunately, 10-yard split numbers are slow to come out after the Scouting Combine.)
- In the early part of the John Schneider-Pete Carroll regime, explosiveness was the central test for linebackers. In recent years, that’s become less emphasized if the prospect had strong numbers in the short shuttle and three cone. I missed on Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven a year ago because of this, and so a shortcoming in explosiveness can be forgiven if a prospect tests well in change of direction drills.
- Since the Seahawks could quite possibly be in the market for both a center and a guard fairly early in this year’s draft, I’ve noted the college position of each prospect in the interior linemen section. That’s specific to this year.
- Also specific to this year, at linebacker, is a couple players who don’t necessarily fit the size or athletic profile Seattle has, but are listed with a specific role in mind—the one of Mychal Kendricks, should the Seahawks continue to play base on the majority of their snaps. Zack Baun, from Wisconsin, would give the defense a coverage boost and rush the passer on third downs. Michigan’s Khaleke Hudson, too, would be an option there.
Other small changes have occurred, as we continue to get an idea of who and what Seattle looks for at each position. For as established as certain positions are, such as cornerback and running back, other positions are still developing or unclear, like tight end and safety. Even offensive line, under Mike Solari, is changing. This board won’t be perfect, but it will help us to narrow down who the Seahawks might target in the upcoming draft.
This year’s draft board is now live and can be found here. As always, if there are any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.