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What the Seahawks are likely to do early in the 2020 NFL Draft

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Seattle Seahawks v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

With just days remaining until the 2020 NFL Draft gets underway on Thursday, fans are growing impatient waiting for anything resembling sports news as the social distancing and stay at home orders used to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have begun to wear on some. That said, the draft offers a welcome change of pace, as actual news will replace the streaming of television shows and movies from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and countless other services.

Fans of the Seattle Seahawks are, of course, no different from fans of other teams, and are anxious to see what Pete Carroll and John Schneider will do to address the team’s deficiencies during the draft. While many are holding out hope that the team will spend an early draft pick or two on the offensive line, the team has used only one Day 1 or Day 2 pick on an offensive lineman since 2017, and that was on Ethan Pocic, unless one wishes to count the second and third round picks the Hawks sent to the Houston Texans for Duane Brown. Considering those two draft picks shows just how much draft capital the team has spent on the big guys in the trenches over the past four drafts.

  • Germain Ifedi: 2016 first round pick
  • Jarran Reed: 2016 second round pick
  • Rees Odhiambo: 2016 third round pick
  • Malik McDowell: 2017 second round pick
  • Ethan Pocic: 2017 second round pick
  • Nazair Jones: 2017 second round pick
  • Sheldon Richardson: 2018 second round pick (traded to the New York Jets)
  • Duane Brown: 2018 third round pick (traded to Texans)
  • Rasheem Green: 2018 third round pick
  • L.J. Collier: 2019 first round pick
  • Brown: 2019 second round pick (traded to Texans)
  • Jadeveon Clowney: 2020 third round pick (traded to Texans)

In short, over the past four drafts Seattle has used 20 Day 1 and Day 2 draft picks, either picking or trading for players who ply their trade in the trenches. As such, it seems likely that the team will do so again. However, with the Hawks having already addressed the offensive line in free agency, and they don’t currently appear to have a pressing need for a 2020 starter on the offensive line. Combine those facts with the track record of teams employing Mike Solari having stayed away from early selections of offensive linemen on Day 1 and Day 2 of the draft for the majority of the past decade, and offensive line seems like a far lower priority.

Looking past the offensive line, the Seahawks have used seven draft picks used on the defensive line on Day 1 and Day 2 over the past four drafts, and with four picks slated for the first two nights of the draft, it certainly seems like a position group the Hawks will once again address. However, with only seven picks currently in the arsenal, there is almost no doubt among fans that the team will trade down. Here is how many picks the team has made each year since Pete and John arrived a decade ago:

  • 2019: 11
  • 2018: 9
  • 2017: 11
  • 2016: 10
  • 2015: 8
  • 2014: 9
  • 2013: 11
  • 2012: 10
  • 2011: 9
  • 2010: 9

So, either the team will make the fewest selections in the draft it has under the current leadership, or it will trade down and add picks. The latter seems like the smart choice, and the logical trade scenario involves sliding into the second round while adding a third round pick and a Day 3 selection. That would give the team five picks on Friday and four picks on Saturday, but don’t be surprised if the team moves a player who is buried on the depth chart to add an additional Day 3 pick. However, Day 3 is a different story for a different day, as the focus here is on Day 2.

That said, expecting five selections on Day 2, and with the team needing to address the defensive line after watching Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods leave in free agency, while Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned, there seems to be no question it’s a group that will be addressed. That said, of the five picks projected for the team, here is how they seem likely to be used, in no particular order:

  • Defensive line
  • Defensive line
  • Defensive line
  • Wide receiver
  • Running back

The Seahawks, of course, won’t draft three identical defensive linemen, and seem likely to address both the edge rush and the interior of the defensive line with these picks. The line has been largely gutted by free agency, and Day 2 of the draft seems likely to be the method the team uses to address the issues at hand.

So, while fans may be screaming for better protection for Russell Wilson on the offensive line, or for the team to trade up for a defensive playmaker, the team seems more likely to trade down and address the trenches on the defensive side in bulk.