Earlier this week, I took part in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft. The Seattle Seahawks are supposed to draft at #27 overall, but you all know as well as I do that the Seahawks are unlikely to stay there.
A couple of years ago, Kenneth Arthur shocked the world by choosing Lamar Jackson, who obviously went to the Baltimore Ravens. Last season, the pick was Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, who ultimately was chosen by the Los Angeles Chargers.
What happens when I get tasked with making a pick? Well I’m not Mr. Mock Draft, so I consulted Alistair Corp’s Seahawks Draft Board, cross-referenced some other mock drafts, and zeroed in on “Day 2 projections.” Why? Because if history is a guide, Seattle will inevitably choose someone who’s considered “a reach.”
I went with pass rush, and explained my rationale for choosing Florida EDGE Jonathan Greenard.
The Seahawks’ [horrible] pass rush has thus far been addressed by signing Benson Mayowa and Bruce Irvin to one-year deals. But with Jadeveon Clowney’s re-signing looking unlikely and any potential Everson Griffen signing coming with the fact that he’s 32, Seattle has to think long-term here with its edge position.
Greenard has already visited with the Seahawks, and his combine performance should put him in consideration for selection. He can rush from either side of the line and plays with quickness (I’m a fan of his off-the-line burst), aggressiveness, and willingness to attack the ball — all traits that Pete Carroll loves.
You might be thinking this is a reach at No. 27 when Greenard is projected for the mid-to-late second round, and with Yetur Gross-Matos and Julian Okwara still on the board. Well for starters, the Seahawks will probably trade down from this spot (and maybe all the way down to mid-to-late second round anyway), and they otherwise have a well-established history of perceived “reach” picks in the early rounds.
Greenard is 22 years old and a graduate transfer who originally played for Louisville. His lone season in Florida saw him earn First-Team All-SEC honors, racking up 10 sacks in 11 games. The biggest injury concern was a dislocated wrist in 2018 that led to him missing all of that season, but it did allow him to graduate early.
His measurable stats (Note: Greenard did attend the NFL Combine):
Weight: 262 lbs
Arm Length: 34 7’8”
40-yard dash: 4.87 secs
10-yard Split: 1.71 secs
Short Shuttle: 4.34 secs
3-Cone: 7.13 secs
As already mentioned, Greenard has been in the Day 2 range for most mock drafts, but this unusual NFL offseason may throw all of the prognosticating out the window. If we go by historically preferred thresholds for Pete Carroll and John Schneider, Greenard fits the body build but doesn’t quite meet the athletic standards based upon his combine results.
Athletic, intelligent edge defender with enticing flashes as both a run defender and pass rusher. Greenard’s plus get-off and ability to bend and corner the edge are predictive traits for success as an NFL rusher but he’ll need a more reliable go-to counter as a pro. He’s tough and aware at the point of attack and plays with consistent leverage and motor. Edge defenders need forceful hands to set edges and open doors as a pass rusher and his hesitation to unleash his right hand after suffering a major wrist injury in 2018 is a concern. If his hesitation is more mental than physical, he should become an eventual starter in either an odd or even front.
Zierlein also compared him to Dante Fowler Jr, now of the Atlanta Falcons and a former Florida star.
And now for the good and bad, courtesy of Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline:
Super-productive college pass rusher who gets the most from his ability. Plays with excellent pad level, works his hands throughout the action and keeps his feet moving. Easily bends off the edge, immediately changes direction and alters his angle of attack to flatten from the backside.
Displays a solid inside move and the ability to slice inside blockers, viciously attacks opposing quarterbacks and shows the ability to rush the passer out of a three-point stance and standing over tackle. Rarely off his feet, plays with balance and gives great effort. Works his hands and shows a variety of pass-rushing moves to get off blocks.
Shows nothing in the way of pursuit speed or an explosive closing burst. One-speed defender with average athleticism. Struggled during Senior Bowl week and really did not live up to expectations.
Except for the few games he struggled with injury, Greenard was a pass-rushing terror for Florida and haunted opposing quarterbacks. He lacks great upside, but he understands how to get up the field and makes the most of his ability, and Greenard should be a solid pass-rushing specialist at the next level.
Admittedly, his athletic profile comparisons are not flattering, but the highlight reel is quite encouraging. I chose Greenard not necessarily because that’s who I want the Seahawks to take, but rather whom I can envision the Seahawks potentially taking. He does not appear to have a high ceiling but I don’t think he has a low floor.
In case you’re wondering, the Seahawks already met with Greenard last month... maybe we’ll all be meeting him again next week.