SB Nation did a recent “What-if?” redo of the first two rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, which I have to say has not aged very well for the Seattle Seahawks. They traded down to 35h overall get Malik McDowell, whose career ended before it could even begin, and Ethan Pocic has been unable to consistently crack the starting lineup.
In this redo scenario, the Seahawks keep their 26th and 58th overall picks and there are no trades to be had. So while I would’ve loved to just grab George Kittle and Myles Garrett and call it a day, they were shockingly already off the board when it was my turn to select.
Much like the 2020 SB Nation Mock Draft, instead of taking the “Mookie runs the Seahawks for a day” approach, I tried to approach the draft based on how John Schneider and Pete Carroll would’ve done, as opposed to my own feelings.
If it were up to me, Shaquill Griffin would’ve been taken at 26th overall, but Seattle has never drafted a cornerback in round one under Carroll and Schneider. They also have a history of “What the hell?” surprise selections with their first pick, so why should I break away from that?
Enter Ole Miss defensive tackle D.J. Jones, originally a sixth-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers, but now he’s a member of the 2017 Seahawks.
From the SB Nation article:
This is quite a promotion for Jones, who was actually selected in the sixth round of the 2017 draft by the San Francisco 49ers. In reality, the Seahawks shipped this pick off to the Falcons, who used it to select defensive end Takkarist McKinley out of UCLA. Jones doesn’t jump off the stat sheet with two sacks in five years, but Field Gulls has obviously noticed that he’s quietly productive and a thumper against the run when they face the Niners twice each season. Jones is the player Niners Nation expects to have a breakout season in 2020.
Now I am genuinely a D.J. Jones fan. He’s a nose tackle who’s steadily become more of a role player in San Francisco’s defense. His value comes as a run defender — this is honestly one of the reasons I drafted him — but he’s also got the impressive ability to collapse the interior of the offensive line in passing downs. I would consider him to be a bit like former Seahawk Brandon Mebane, and the combine stats indicate that he’s actually a little more athletic.
Do you draft a run-stuffing rotational defensive tackle in the back-end of round one? I wouldn’t! Not advisable! Is it something Schneider and Carroll would’ve considered even after drafting Jarran Reed in 2016? I think so. Jones is entering a contract year in 2020 and as Niners Nation wrote in the link above, he may be a breakout player for one of the league’s best units.
Now we get to pick 58. Keeping in mind that the 2017 Seahawks’ running back depth chart was Thomas Rawls, injured C.J. Prosise, inert Eddie Lacy, and inconsistent Alex Collins, I decided to upgrade Chris Carson from seventh-round gem to second-round pick.
Carson has clearly been very productive over the past two seasons and fits the style that Pete Carroll loves in his running backs. It was very tempting to take Marlon Mack instead of Carson if largely because he doesn’t have Carson’s worrisome fumbling problem, but Carson’s elite ability to shed tackles has me pretty confident that Seattle would’ve taken him higher in a redraft.
In hindsight, I should’ve gone Carson in round one and Jones in round two to make it more Seahawk-y, but we are just living in a fantasy.
You can take a look at the full redraft results below. On the left column are our picks and the right side is what actually happened.
I leave you with two questions — What would you have done as Seahawks GM given the results you’ve seen, and what do you think the Seahawks would’ve done if given a second shot at that draft class?