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Cole Strange is a name for Seahawks fans to store in the back of their mind

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 02 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Just three weeks remain until the 2022 NFL Draft arrives, and fans of teams across the league are getting excited for the infusion of young potential into their favorite team. With that in mind, it’s time to begin looking at some of the draft trends and habits of the Seattle Seahawks in order to look to gain a better understanding of what they might do. As always, we have absolutely no idea what Pete Carroll and John Schneider will do and most of the picks will likely be players that most fans have never heard of. That said, my job is to bait the readers of Field Gulls into clicking on draft content, so here we are.

In any case, as has become an annual offseason tradition, the Hawks have more questions than answers when it comes to the offensive line. Specifically, second year players Stone Forsythe and Jake Curhan have limited experience, and what the team plans to do at both tackle spots is anybody’s guess. Guard seems more settled, with Damien Lewis and Gabe Jackson in place to man those spots for another season in 2022, while the center spot appears likely to fall to Austin Blythe at least for this coming year.

As is the case every year, the first place to start is with traits, as the Seahawks have a long history of looking for specific physical and athletic characteristics. With that in mind, here is a look at the physical and athletic traits for the linemen Seattle has drafted and signed in the years since Mike Solari arrived as the offensive line coach in 2018.

Seahawks linemen added since 2018

Category DK Metcalf Stone Forsythe Jake Curhan Greg Eiland Jamarco Jones Justin Senior Chad Wheeler Damien Lewis Marcus Martin Mike Iupati D.J. Fluker Kyle Fuller Austin Blythe Dakoda Shepley
Category DK Metcalf Stone Forsythe Jake Curhan Greg Eiland Jamarco Jones Justin Senior Chad Wheeler Damien Lewis Marcus Martin Mike Iupati D.J. Fluker Kyle Fuller Austin Blythe Dakoda Shepley
Position WR T T T T T T G C/G G G C/G C C/G
Height 6033 6080 6057 6077 6040 6045 6070 6020 6033 6051 6045 6046 6021 6043
Weight 228 307 316 321 299 331 306 327 320 331 339 307 298 305
Arm 34.875 34.375 33 37 35.125 34 34.375 33 34 34.75 36.375 34.125 31.5 32
40 4.33 5.13 5.45 5.77 5.50 5.55 5.42 5.24 5.22 5.31 5.31 5.24 5.36 5.17
20 2.53 2.96 3.17 3.28 3.02 3.23 3.14 3.03 3.07 3.06 3.12 3.03 3.04 2.84
10 1.48 1.82 1.89 2.03 1.95 1.92 1.89 1.83 1.81 1.84 1.9 1.81 1.80 1.75
Bench 27 25 15 8 18 21 15 27 23 27 21 23 29 30
Vertical 40.5 27.5 24 26.5 24 23 24 30 N/A 27.5 27.5 26 27.5 32.5
Broad 133 103 102 97 102 98 105 108 N/A 92 N/A 96 99 111
Shuttle 4.50 4.63 4.84 N/A 4.99 5.06 5.01 N/A 4.93 4.93 5.00 4.84 4.53 4.7
3-Cone 7.38 7.47 8.07 N/A 8.32 8.19 7.95 N/A N/A 7.85 N/A 7.71 7.52 8.19

The items from that table that should jump right off the screen at readers is that the three fastest shuttle times (Austin Blythe, Dakoda Shepley and Stone Forsythe) have all been added since Andy Dickerson was hired from the Los Angeles Rams as the run game coordinator, and who of course has since been promoted to offensive line coach. In addition, there are only two players on the entire list with arms under 33” of length in Blythe and Shepley. As an aside, for fans still upset about the fact that the Seahawks passed on Creed Humphrey in the 2021 NFL Draft, feel free to blame Mike Solari’s preference for linemen with arms longer than 33” and Humphrey’s 32.5” arms.

In any case, getting back to the topic at hand, for those wondering why the shuttle in particular was pointed out, the answer is that it is among the most predictive metric for offensive linemen when it comes to success upon entering the NFL.

So, keeping in mind the shuttle times and arm lengths from above, here are the offensive linemen the Rams have drafted since 2017, with Cole Strange of Tennessee-Chattanooga included for comparative purposes.

Rams linemen drafted since 2017

Cole Strange Joseph Noteboom Tremayne Anchrum Bobby Evans David Edwards Brian Allen Jamil Demby
Cole Strange Joseph Noteboom Tremayne Anchrum Bobby Evans David Edwards Brian Allen Jamil Demby
C/G T G T T C T
6047 6050 6017 6043 6062 6011 6044
307 309 314 312 308 298 319
33 34.375 33.625 34.75 33.375 32.375 33.75
5.03 4.96 5.21 5.2 5.28 5.32 5.58
2.89 2.88 3.05 3.05 3.05 3.1 3.17
1.71 1.71 1.84 1.85 1.79 1.87 1.87
31 27 26 22 16 27 17
28 24 24.5 27.5 25.5 26.5 23.5
120 101 104 116 99 99 98
4.5 4.44 N/A 4.72 4.77 4.71 4.98
7.44 7.65 N/A 8 7.69 7.81 7.86

The reason to include Strange is that not only is he obviously a match for the physical and athletic traits that Dickerson looks for, he is also set to visit the Seahawks prior to the draft.

In addition, as noted in that tweet, Strange had an excellent showing at the Senior Bowl, and a very large percentage of the players Seattle has drafted on Day 1 and Day 2 since adopting maturity as a draft criteria in the wake of the Malik McDowell ATV incident have been players who have attended the Senior Bowl. Further, one could facetiously point out that since Strange will turn 24 this coming summer and the Seahawks have a thing for older prospects, it’s a match made in heaven.

In any case, one of the things that could prevent Seattle from drafting Strange is that Chattanooga is an FCS school, and the Seahawks have traditionally used their Day 1 and Day 2 picks on players from Power 5 conferences. The team has dabbled in non-P5 players on Day 1 and Day 2, including Bobby Wagner, Rashaad Penny, Dee Eskridge and Rees Odhiambo, but those four represent just 11.4% of the players the team has drafted in the first three rounds since Pete and John arrived.

Putting it all together, it would appear that Strange checks off enough boxes that it makes sense to keep his name in mind. That said, he may not be a name to fall in love with, as it won’t be a surprise if another team snags Strange while the Hawks patiently wait for him to fall into a range in which they are more comfortable drafting a small school player.