Yesterday we looked at late round prospects (the article can be found by clicking here) and today we are going to focus our energy on early round guys.
For the purpose of this article, I wanted to highlight who I feel will be the top 3 on Seattle’s draft board at positions of need, whilst also focussing on players that will be available at areas in the draft I feel Seattle will be picking. As you will see, Saquon Barkley isn’t my #1 RB and for good reason, he won’t be available in Seattle’s range.
Let’s start with offense followed by defense.
Equanimeous St. Brown
With the Seahawks showing serious interest in Christian Kirk it is clear they are considering drafting at the position early. It may not happen, but they are certainly doing their homework. Kirk is a much smaller body compared to the other two (6-3 and 6-5 respectively). All three of these guys ‘should’ go in the second round. If Seattle does what I think they will do and end up with multiple day 2 selections, don’t be shocked when one of these names is read out.
Ronald Jones II
My top 3 at this position changes more than my underwear.
As things stand, Johnson leads the race for me with Chubb a close second and Jones II and even closer third. In honesty, you could rearrange these 3 any which way you like and I’d still be very happy.
I am preparing for the fact that Seattle may not, in fact, go running back early and wait for the more mid rounds to make their selection(s). There is a pretty even downhill trend with minimal spikes in the running back class whereas other positions of need have huge drops in talent as the rounds progress. It will be a tough pill to swallow though and I will be disappointed if they don’t tap into the top of the talent pool at a huge position of need.
I will be the first to admit, I haven’t followed the tight end class too closely this draft but I can absolutely see Seattle investing a second day selection on one. If I had to say I’d say Seattle probably waits till the later rounds to focus on the position however there is still a part of me that thinks they could pull the trigger on one very early. All three of the listed players are similar in size and ability, it will very much come down to how the draft falls for tight ends. I don’t think any go in the first round which will see an influx of them in round 2.
Corbett seems the most likely to me out of three but they are all very, very appealing.
If I was in charge I’d ensure I was able to pull the trigger on at least one of these guys to shore up the left guard spot. I think the running game will benefit more with an early round guard as opposed to an early round RB but that’s just me and I totally get the argument for the other side, I really do. All 3 seem very ‘Seahawky’ and I can really imagine any three of them in a Seahawks uni on Sunday’s, especially Hernandez. Problem is he is trending up draft boards, not down, which isn’t ideal for the team.
Harold Landry is one hell of an athlete and is the clear winner out of the 4 in terms of ability.
Seattle loves the three cone time for EDGE guys and Landry was the fastest with 6.88 seconds at the combine. Did anyone beat that time at their pro days? Yes…Okoronkwo ran a 6.84 at his pro day so will surely be high on their draft board. He will likely be available on day 2, too. Rasheem Green could prove to be the backup plan if both of those don’t work in terms of draft position for Seattle.
For Seattle to be in serious contention for Landry, they will have to move on from Earl, whether that be for a 1st + change or multiple day 2/3 picks, it doesn’t matter. Landry won’t last long in the first round and they will be very lucky to get him even at #18.
I maintain that I don’t really buy the Josh Sweat hype, with his knee injury I just don’t see the team pulling the trigger.
Isaiah Oliver is one of the most ‘Seahawky’ players in this draft. He is long, fantastic in press coverage and will be able to hold his own against even the biggest receivers in the NFL. Davis and Yiadom also have the height and length required in Pete Carroll’s secondary however I’d say if the team decides to go CB early it will be for Oliver, with Holton Hill, Christian Campbell, Tarvarus McFadden or Jordan Thomas in place as their hedge in case they don’t pull the trigger on Oliver.
Jessie Bates III
Why only two choices here? The free safety class is so weak at the top end that there simply isn’t another free safety worthy, in my opinion, of a day 2 selection. With Reid and Bates III it isn’t really a case of #1 and #2, it’s #1A and #1B. There is a huge cliff after these guys so if Earl is moved and one of these guys isn’t selected by Seattle, I’d fully expect to have Bradley McDougald as the day 1 starter at the position in the 2018 season.
There are later round options, Natrell Jamerson being the main one. Another option is to go SS with a later round pick (Siran Neal and Troy Apke jump out) and have, as mentioned, McDougald play FS next year. If McDougald went down, though, I’d panic.
I am aware I have left certain positions off such as linebacker, tackle and strong safety however the positions listed are the most likely with an early selection in my humble opinion. As mentioned, if I could choose I would go OG, FS, DE (in that order) and address other needs later on, but the team have lots of options.
It is also incredibly hard to accurately predict the selections when we have no idea what happens with a trade down and Earl Thomas. If the team can get #19 and a mid/late round pick, problem solved. Same applies if they can get a second and a third for him, it gives the team options all over the roster. But until we know what is actually happening, it’s very much a guessing game. I suspect we may well be waiting until draft night to find out, too. Especially with regards to a trade down. There is very little chance of that happening pre-draft as it will be very much circumstantial as to who falls.
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