We are now only a little over a month away from the 2017 National Football League Draft, in which the Seattle Seahawks hold seven picks. Seattle will forfeit their fifth-round pick due to their OTA violation in June of last year. Most fans anticipate Seattle will select a well-regarded offensive lineman in the first round. However, with DeShawn Shead’s injury late last season the Seahawks may also choose a player who plays corner or safety first as well. Here is our best latest guess on what Seattle will do in this year’s draft.
Round One, Pick 26: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Robinson is essentially the dream offensive lineman Seattle could nab in this year’s draft. Seattle has been successful when having a reliable player at tackle, including past players Russell Okung and Walter Jones. Many imagine Robinson could be that next guy. He passes the eye test, built at six-foot-six and 310 pounds. Not only do his measurables explain a lot, but on the field he looks like one of – if not the – most NFL ready tackle in this year’s draft. A three-year Alabama starter, his size does not affect his technique, as his pass-protection skills are uncanny. He is physical at the point of attack, especially on run plays, and that tenacity is something the Seahawk offensive line has not shown consistently of late. Potentially a day one starter, he is bound to be the Seahawks’ selection if he remains on the board when Seattle is on the clock.
Round Two, Pick 58: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
Much like Richard Sherman, Wilson possesses a long and lanky but solid build. At six-foot-one and 214 pounds, he is still able to hold his own in press and man coverages. Physicality is huge for corners of his size, as throwing the receiver off course at the line of scrimmage may determine if one gets burned or not. Wilson has a great deal of fearlessness and tenacity that is unmatched by his opponents. With a Sherman trade being a possibility, and Shead likely sitting out the first few weeks of the season, cornerback is a huge need. If this slot is not filled quickly, Seattle’s secondary may be in huge trouble. Wilson provides a prototype cornerback who could move back to safety in emergency, while also being a likely instant starter. He has the build and skill to do so, and would be a great pick if he is still on the board.
Round Three, Pick 90: Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama
Once described as “the most hateful player on Alabama’s defense,” Anderson has the tenacity and skill to be an immediate contributor on any NFL team. Totaling 14 sacks and 28.5 tackles for loss over the last two seasons, he is slotted to be an exceptional SAM linebacker in any 4-3 defense. Seattle is in desperate need of a reliable outside pass-rusher after Bruce Irvin’s departure after the 2015 season, and Anderson could provide that edge. Maybe most importantly, he brings professional level leadership capabilities that are unmatched by maybe anyone in this year’s draft. This provides instant draft stock to his name, and would bring an attitude to Seattle’s defense that could be contagious to his fellow teammates. With many overlooking the one-year starter, he very well could be on the board in the middle rounds.
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Round Three, Pick 102: Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson
An often pushed aside piece of Clemson’s championship defense in 2016, Watkins fits the Seahawks defensive scheme perfectly. Weighing 312 pounds and standing six-foot-three, he is nearly identical to what we have seen Seattle plug-in in the past. His technique could use some work, but he is exceptional at plugging up the middle. Coincidentally, that is the primary way Seattle has maintained one of the best run defenses in the league over the last five seasons. Any of his inefficiencies are very coachable, which provides upside for his NFL potential.
Round Three, Pick 106: Nico Siragusa, OG, San Diego State
A pure power-running style guard, Siragusa will provide immediate strength and push to any struggling offensive line. He has great size to play guard at six-foot-four and about 320 pounds. He excels at getting under the shoulder pads of defenders and driving them out. His athleticism is among the best of any offensive lineman in this year’s draft. He showed this by recording the top vertical jump at the combine out of all big men. He has some pass protection technique issues that are very coachable and minor, so Tom Cable should be able to work the kinks out quickly. With Bradley Sowell being possibly the worst Seahawk offensive-lineman last year, Siragusa would be a likely immediate improvement. He would likely benefit from a year to develop, but a starting job may come down the pipeline very quickly.
Round Six, Pick 210: Josh Malone, WR, Tennessee
There are two things that jump off the page when viewing Malone’s draft profile. One being the fact he is a very sturdy six-foot-three, 208 pounds. Secondly, he has 4.40 speed. In today’s NFL, receivers need both size and speed to be given a shot it seems, and Malone should get his. Seattle is yet to possess a receiver with both attributes, and a player that owns such measurables would benefit the offense immensely. Based on where Seattle is likely willing to select a receiver, Malone may be the guy they need. He shows great breakaway speed, and potential playmaking ability with good hands. He owns great awareness in getting his head and body turned to the ball, and brings the ball into his chest. He is certainly a potential late-round receiver worth taking a chance on.
Round Seven, Pick 226: Delano Hill, S, Michigan
Hill could easily flip over and play strong safety for Seattle, and that may even be where he is better suited. Extremely comfortable near the line of scrimmage and in run-support, he could be Seattle’s next downhill hard-hitting safety. An underrated tackler, Hill’s technique may be one of his greatest strengths. He always cocks arms back, and explodes forward with physicality. He targets either the ball or the legs, not letting defenders get away. He possesses 4.47 speed, which is a plus in coverage. Hill is able to bat away balls and shows great awareness even when receiver is slightly in front of him. Projected by many as a sixth-to-seventh-round pick, Seattle would get a steal in Hill no matter what round he is selected.
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