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When it comes to the Seahawks, don’t bother reading mock drafts from the national ‘experts’

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NFL: NFL Draft Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

We are days away from the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland, and as you know the Seattle Seahawks have just three draft picks. Presumably John Schneider will find a way to have more than that when all is said and done, but it’s going to be one of his more difficult feats yet.

As usual, it’s #MockDraftSZN and your favorite experts have got their big boards and fantasy trades and BPAs all lined up. You may have noticed that other than STUFR’s fanposts (where he clearly says he’s not a draft scout and uses a tool that creates different scenarios), the occasional link in Pre-Snap Reads, mock draft material pertaining to the Seahawks is decidedly barren.

Well I’m personally not going to do a mock draft largely because my consumption of college football has cratered in recent years. But there’s something else that should be obvious:

Seahawks mock drafts by established NFL analysts are a waste of time.

Now mock drafts in general are just exercises in futility and your mileage may vary on how fun they truly are. You may have a good read on who will most likely be chosen from about 1-15 — bonus points for insiders who get a glimpse into the processes in this range — but everything below that is totally up in the air, and the Seahawks haven’t had to pick in the top-15 for a decade.

What I’ve found glaringly obvious is that the mock drafters — from Mel Kiper to Todd McShay to the seemingly millions of mock drafters on CBS Sports — is they absolutely pick based on best fit and not how Seattle actually operates.

In 2018 and 2020 I did a round-up right before the start of those drafts just to see the opinions and insight from many national analysts and even some local names. The top two pick predictions for 2018 were DE Marcus Davenport and CB Josh Jackson, both obvious areas of need for the Seahawks following the departures of Messrs Bennett, Avril, and Sherman. Davenport was taken before the Seahawks could even pick, and Jackson went to Green Bay well into Round 2. Seattle has never drafted a cornerback that early and probably won’t this year, either. Only Rob Rang accurately predicted Seattle would take a running back but he went with Derrius Guice over Rashaad Penny, and while Penny has hardly been anything special it’s a damn good thing the Seahawks didn’t take Guice.

Last year produced a real shock when after a poor year from the Seahawks pass rushers, the first pick went to linebacker Jordyn Brooks. Through my sample of 20 mock drafts, almost half predicted Yetur Gross-Matos from Penn State. No one even had a linebacker suggested and you know what happened next. Gross-Matos was taken by the Carolina Panthers in the second-round.

I skipped out doing the 2019 round-up for reasons I don’t remember but I bet you L.J. Collier was not the prediction for anyone.

Sense a pattern?

The Seahawks zag when everyone expects them to zig and frankly that’s been the case for years. I’d say the only time in the entirety of the Pete Carroll and John Schneider that they’ve ever made fairly predictably early-round selections was in 2010 when Russell Okung went 6th and Earl Thomas was 14th. Maybe you could’ve seen them taking a quarterback with either of those first-rounders but they addressed two other glaring weaknesses instead.

Now I do think there’s value in Seahawks draft boards and beat writers who are more plugged into Seattle’s historical tendencies as well as inside info on visits, scouting pro days, etc. Even then it’s extraordinarily hard to gauge what Seattle will do, especially when you’re venturing into Day 3 territory.

So sit back, relax, fantasize about picks you know the Seahawks won’t make, and follow our draft coverage throughout the week on Field Gulls.