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The Seahawks and the third round: Day Three prospects for Seattle

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Florida vs Georgia Photo by Piper Hansen/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Welcome back to the second and final part of this draft-related series (read part one here)

The NFL Draft is less than a week away, and the Seahawks are fortunate enough to be approaching without too many glaring needs. They have done a solid, if unremarkable, job in free agency, bringing in competitors like Kerry Hyder and Ahkello Witherspoon, while also trading for a potential difference maker on the offensive line at guard in Gabe Jackson. They did this while also retaining key players like Tyler Lockett, Chris Carson, and Carlos Dunlap. Still, they haven’t filled all of the gaps on their roster. Specifically, they seem a bit thin at Corner, D-Line, Wide Receiver, and though they expect their starting Left Tackle and Center from 2020 to return, this may be a good draft to identify some developmental prospects to coach up behind Duane Brown and Ethan Pocic. Additionally, even though it isn’t a position of need, per se, explosive Edge Rushers are never off the board for Pete and John.

The Seahawks only have three picks currently — 56, 129, and 250 — and I just listed six positions of need, by my count. As I discussed last week, I believe that Seattle will likely trade down from pick 56, based on their history of stockpiling picks and simply because they still have some positions to fill and may want to have a few more than three rookies in camp who aren’t UDFAs. If they do eventually decide to trade down, their is a decent chance they will end up making their first selection in the third round. Rather than speculate on any specific fabricated trade scenario or try to mock specific picks, this article is instead going to look at some players who are currently projected as Day Three prospects who could interest Seattle as early as the third round (or even as early as the second if they don’t trade back...).

Listed below is one prospect for each position of need identified above. Along with the player is their combine/pro day scores and the stats from their most recent season. In addition to each of these guys are a couple Worthy Mentions — similarly ranked players who could also be a good match for the Hawks. I tried to focus on players who are projected no earlier than the third round, with a focus on players who are graded closer to 4th or 5th. All combine results pulled from Dane Brugler’s draft guide except where otherwise noted.

Defensive Back

Watch his 2020 highlights

Combine Results and 2020 Stats

Projection Height Weight 40 Time Arm Length 20-yard split 10-yard split 3-Cone Drill Vertical Jump
Projection Height Weight 40 Time Arm Length 20-yard split 10-yard split 3-Cone Drill Vertical Jump
3rd-4th 6' 1" 194 4.29 32 3/4" 1.5 2.56 6.96 38.5"
2020 Stats Games Played PD Int Passer Rating Targets Rec Allowed Broad Jump Short Shuttle
- 9 4 4 43.6 28 16 10'8" 4.36

A tall, long armed DB with ball-hawking tendencies, Eric Stokes ran two interceptions back for touchdowns in 2020 — one against Florida and the other against Arkansas. And that isn’t all he ran; he also ran a 4.25 forty at Georgia’s pro day, according to Conor Orr at Sports Illustrated. He is a highly competitive and uniquely athletic two-year starter for the Bulldogs whose timed speed shows up on film. He has allowed a career completion percentage of 53.8% when targeted, and can play inside and out. He made All-SEC for his performance in 2020, and, per PFF, he allowed ten or fewer yards in five full games last season. With his height and wingspan, Stokes definitely looks the part of a Seattle corner.

While his size, length, and quickness are a perfect match for the Hawks, he is still a raw prospect and will need to improve his technique to avoid becoming a penalty machine at the next level. But when you watch his college tape, he often looks like an NFL-ready DB who could step in and start on day one. A great example of this can be seen in his final pass breakup in the game against Tennessee, where he runs stride for stride with his man on a deep fade route, and expertly turns to find the ball and position himself between the pass and the receiver for a clutch breakup. His draft stock is all over the place, going as high as the second round in some mocks, though PFF has him firmly as a fourth rounder. I could see the Hawks taking a good look at him if he is available whenever they are on the clock.

Worthy Mentions

  • CB Robert Rochell — Central Arkansas

Rochell is another lengthy corner who is very raw. A former receiver turned three-year starter at Central Arkansas, he played primarily on the left side and collected nine interceptions from 2018-2019. Exciting, true developmental prospect with explosive traits.

Thomas opted out of 2020, but his 2019 performance was promising. He snagged three interceptions on forty-seven targets and allowed a passer rating of 56.3 when targeted. However, his lack of targets in college is noteworthy — he played only one season as a true starter. Physically very talented, but is a bit of an unknown. His size and athleticism could make him an interesting prospect later on in day three.

Defensive Line

  • DT/3T Daviyon NixonIowa

Daviyon Nixon combine and stats

Projection Height Weight 40 Time Arm Length 20-yard split 10-yard split 3-Cone Drill Vertical Jump
Projection Height Weight 40 Time Arm Length 20-yard split 10-yard split 3-Cone Drill Vertical Jump
4th-5th 6' 3" 313 4.86 35 1/8" 1.7 2.95 7.56 28.5"
2020 Stats Games Played Sacks Hurries TFL Run Stop Win rate Broad Jump Short Shuttle
- 8 5.5 16 13.5 7.5% 10.8% 8'10" 4.71

A disruptive three-technique with plus athleticism, Daviyon Nixon is similar physically and athletically to former ill-fated second round pick Malik McDowell. He is an explosive interior player who has the strength and agility to wreck opposing offenses. And if you only watch Nixon’s highlights, this is exactly what he does. He looks like a first round prospect who will terrorize offensive lines for the next decade. The key for Daviyon will be maintaining this level of play and demonstrating consistency as a pro.

Watching his tape, he fires out of his stance low and can penetrate into the backfield in a hurry. He is a fun player to watch, and proved to be a disruptive force for a good Iowa defense. He was only a one year starter, but collected three sacks as a rotational player in 2019. He could grow into taking on Jarran Reed’s role, potentially sooner than later. Another player who is going as high as the second round in some mocks, PFF has Nixon as low as the fourth round.

Honorable Mentions

  • DT Marlon TuipulotuUSC

A prospect from Carroll’s former employer, Tuipulotu is a run stuffing defensive tackle who showed pass rushing upside in 2020. He is a developing prospect in this regard, and may not be ready to contribute as a three-down starter immediately. But he is a talented, high-effort player who should find a way to contribute early, though he may come off the field on passing downs until he can prove that he is a consistently disruptive threat. Similar to Nixon, his draft stock is all over the place, ranging from second to fourth, so his availability for Seattle is difficult to predict.

A young player with a ton of upside, Bobby Brown III is destructive and powerful. He is a disruptor at nose tackle who can shut down the run and collapse the pocket. His consistency needs to improve, but he looks like a player who could find an early role as a rotational interior player.

Wide Receiver

Watch his highlights

D’Wayne Eskridge combine and stats

Projection Height Weight 40 Time Arm Length 20-yard split 10-yard split 3-Cone Drill Vertical Jump
Projection Height Weight 40 Time Arm Length 20-yard split 10-yard split 3-Cone Drill Vertical Jump
3rd-4th Round 5' 9" 190 4.39 30 1/2" 2.66 1.51 6.95 35"
2020 Stats Games Played Rec Yds Yds / Rec TD YAC / rec Broad Jump Short Shuttle
- 6 33 768 23.3 8 14.4 (1st) 10'4" 4.27

D’Wayne Eskridge is hilariously fun to watch as a speedster who churned out highlight after highlight with ease in a shortened 2020 season. He projects as a likely slot receiver in the pros who can contribute as a special teamer early on, with experience as both a returner and a gunner on the punt team. Per PFF, he ranked first across all receivers in yards per route run and recorded an otherworldly 14.4 yards after the catch per reception. Of course, the biggest knock against Eskridge’s ridiculous production is the level of competition he faced playing in the MAC, where he often simply looked like he was playing at a different speed than the defense. Still, he looks like he could be a playmaker in Shane Waldron’s offense.

Due to his electric speed and smaller stature, he may project more like a future Tyler Lockett than a future Cooper Kupp. Regardless, he could potentially contribute like the latter, who was once a small school prospect himself (go Eags). Eskridge can attack the middle of the field with his speed and he is a run-after-the-catch threat on every play that he has the ball in his hands.

Worthy Mention

Another undersized but explosive receiver, Shi Smith was a four-year starter at South Carolina. He is a competitor who looks fearless over the middle and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when blocking. He isn’t overly physical as a runner, but he has some Doug Baldwin in him and plays with fire. His production in college was never elite, but he may improve when playing with an NFL quarterback. Projects as a slot receiver, Smith looks to have potential as an early contributor in the passing game with upside as a special teamer.

Offensive Line

Kendrick Green combine and stats

Projection Height Weight 40 Time Arm Length 20-yard split 10-yard split 3-Cone Drill Vertical Jump
Projection Height Weight 40 Time Arm Length 20-yard split 10-yard split 3-Cone Drill Vertical Jump
3rd-4th Round 6' 2" 305 32 1/4" 4.88 2.81 1.69 7.79 35.5"
2020 Stats Games Played Run Snaps Pass Snaps Sacks Allowed Hits Allowed Hurries Broad Jump Short Shuttle
- 8 289 238 0 2 4 9'11" 4.67

Kendrick Green is a versatile, powerful interior lineman who can move. He drives players off the line of scrimmage and finishes blocks with authority. In addition to this he is a fluid, athletic interior lineman with a low center of gravity and a tenacious drive. Physically, he is shorter and has a narrower wingspan than the Seahawks have traditionally looked for, but he seems like a prospect who would be a great fit in a zone offense like Waldron’s that would utilize his compact power and explosive quickness.

Green lined up at both Left Guard and Center for the Fighting Illini in 2020, splitting time almost evenly. He excelled at both, posting the highest blocking grades of his college career. He started out playing exclusively at Left Guard in 2018 before starting to take snaps at Center in 2019. The general consensus seems to be that he will be drafted as a center, though his versatility is something the Seahawks covet. He is an accomplished run blocker and a capable pass protector, allowing zero sacks and only four hurries on 238 passing snaps last season. His fluidity shows up on tape, as he looks smooth and decisive on the move. These traits could be highly desirable if Waldron implements more Outside/Wide Zone concepts this season as expected. Overall, Kendrick Green looks like a player who could have a similar trajectory to Damien Lewis — a lineman who could be a capable starter on day one, if needed, and while his pass blocking skills continue to be a work in progress, he is an ascending player who could become a multi-year starter in the NFL.

Senior Bowl highlights

Jaylon Moore combine and stats

Projection Height Weight 40 Time Arm Length 20-yard split 10-yard split 3-Cone Drill Vertical Jump
Projection Height Weight 40 Time Arm Length 20-yard split 10-yard split 3-Cone Drill Vertical Jump
4th-5th Round 6' 4" 311 5.25 33 3/8" 3.03 1.82 7.77 30.5"
2020 Stats Games Played Run Snaps Pass Snaps Sacks Allowed Hits Allowed Hurries Broad Jump Short Shuttle
- 6 209 188 3 2 1 8'10" 4.63

Apparently, I’m a big fan of Western Michigan players this year, as Jaylon Moore is the second Bronco on my list, following teammate D’Wayne Eskridge. Jaylon is a bit of a polarizing prospect. He looks like a player who should dominate on every play, and sometimes he does just that. But while he lacks consistency and struggled a bit in pass protection last season, he had an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl and may have helped his draft stock substantially. At his best, he looks like a powerful player with decent quickness and agility who can anchor and frustrate rushers.

He was a three-year star at Left Tackle for the Broncos, but he may not project as a day one starter in the NFL. Some scouts think he may project as a guard, but he has exciting developmental potential as an LT. Given that Duane Brown currently has that position on lockdown, Moore could be a great prospect to spend some time acclimating behind the veteran All-Pro.

Honorable Mentions

Exceedingly tall and long-armed prospect who played on both the left and right side in college. Doyle plays with decent control over his movement for his size, but can sometimes find himself in awkward positions while stretching to make blocks. He won’t be able to win exclusively with his reach in the NFL, and will need to develop considerably to become a starter. He is most effective as a zone blocker, and allowed zero sacks in 2020.

Dalman was Michael-Shawn Dugar’s pick for Seattle in the third round of the Athletic’s mock draft. And he makes sense — he has received comparisons to the Rams’ 2020 starting center Austin Blythe. Drew is another lineman who is physically smaller all around than the prototypical maulers that Seattle favored in recent years, though it remains to be seen how much differently they will evaluate prospects under Waldron. I’m not sure Dalman will be available when Seattle picks, but he is definitely worth considering if he is.

Edge Rushers

Rashad Weaver combine and stats

Projection Height Weight 40 Time Arm Length 20-yard split 10-yard split 3-Cone Drill Vertical Jump
Projection Height Weight 40 Time Arm Length 20-yard split 10-yard split 3-Cone Drill Vertical Jump
3rd Round 6' 5" 259 4.86 33 1.2" 2.88 1.56 6.97 32"
2020 Stats Games Played Sacks QB Hits Hurries TFL Win Rate Broad Jump Short Shuttle
- 9 10 6 32 14 21.1% 9'6" 4.26

Rashad Weaver was a three year starter for the Pittsburgh Panthers, though he missed all of 2019 after suffering a torn ACL. He responded to the injury about as well as he possibly could have, returning in 2020 to post ten sacks in nine games. He is strong and quick, if not overly fast or twitchy. The Seahawks aren’t going to find any “Bruce Irvin” players in this draft, but what they may find in Weaver is a powerful and smooth player with a relentless drive. He can push the pocket and set the edge against the run. He may not be a speed demon, but he takes good angles of pursuit and looks like a player who will find a way to get after the quarterback. According to the Pittsburgh Panthers website, Weaver racked up 20 total pressures in games against Notre Dame, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Boston College last season.

Weaver is yet another player whose stock is all over the place, ranging from second to fourth. From what I’ve seen, he seems to be most frequently projected as a third round pick. While he may be a stretch to be available if the Seahawks trade down, he seems like one of the few rushers in this draft class who the Seahawks might seriously consider if they find him available at any point.

Worthy Mentions

Payton Turner is probably an even bigger stretch to be available when the Hawks are on the clock, but if he is, I feel like Seattle would give him some serious, serious consideration. He recorded five sacks in five games in 2020, and he jumps off the tape when you watch him play. He has 4.50 speed to go with an imposing frame. While his tape is limited, he looks like a player who is a likely day two pick and projects as a starter at the next level.

  • EDGE Jordan Smith — Alabama-Birmingham

Jordan Smith is a talented rusher who is so intent on jumping the snap that he occasionally jumps early... sounds familiar... But his eagerness to attack of the edge puts him in a position to make plays, as he had five sacks and twenty-nine hurries in 2020. Per PFF, his pass rush win rate and overall grade were elite, and he has the size and length to win at the next level. He may not test overly athletic, but his game speed looks faster than his track speed.