The Seattle Seahawks capped off the 2016 season with an NFC West title and a Divisional round playoff exit. Part of the reason for the demise late in the year was a putrid offensive line and a lack of running game. Both areas looked to be addressed heading into the draft. The Seahawks offseason didn’t have much buzz around it besides for addition of Eddie Lacy that could potentially be their new workhorse back. What can we expect from the Seattle Seahawks heading into the 2017 NFL Draft?
Offensive line! That should be the focal point for the entire draft. The problem is Seattle hasn’t just ignored the problem, they went out of their way to make it the worst offensive line in football. Seattle has spent the fewest amount of cap space on their offensive line by a wide margin. That’s just asking to lose games. (Sorry for the rant).
In round 1 Seattle could look for one of the top tier tackle prospects in the draft. Cam Robinson of Alabama, Ryan Ramczyk of Wisconsin, or Garett Bolles of Utah could be available. In 2016, Seattle rolled out an undrafted former basketball player at left tackle…..Their right tackle, Garry Gilliam, isn’t much better. Robinson probably has the highest ceiling of the trio and is likely the only pure left tackle prospect in the entire draft. Ramczyk is more of a right tackle prospect that will likely be a better fit for power run teams instead of the bootleg plays Seattle runs. Bolles is an interesting option but he will turn 25 by the start of the season which is a red flag in my eyes. Bolles plays with a nasty streak Seattle loves but is undersized. Either way, I bet Seattle comes away with one of them because well, they have to. Luke Joeckel was brought over this offseason but the team would likely be more comfortable with him on the right side.
In round 2, let’s not mess with the formula. Seattle goes right back to the offensive line but this time addresses the interior. The move would allow Germain Ifedi to kick to right tackle where he played in college. Dion Dawkins from Temple has Pro Bowl written all over him as an elite guard prospect. Dawkins played left tackle in college but will kick inside to guard where he will have above average arm length (35″ arms) and athleticism for the position. Dawkins was easily the best offensive line prospect at the Senior Bowl and likely becomes the best offensive lineman from this draft altogether in my opinion. Indiana’s Dan Feeney might also be available when Seattle picks in the 2nd round 58th overall. I’m not nearly as high on Feeney’s overall potential.
Round 3 should be more of the same for Seattle and I’m not kidding either. When Seattle was truly dominant, Max Unger was their center and the anchor of the offensive line. Now a similar prospect is available this year that reminds me so much of Unger in the form of Ethan Pocic of LSU. Pocic is a huge center 6’7″ but is the perfect fit in the zone scheme Seattle utilizes. Pocic wins with flawless technique but could struggle with leverage against other defensive tackles. The good news is Pocic was able to really bend his knees and drop his pad level when I watched him at the combine so I’m not overly concerned. My Max Unger comp on Pocic should get Seattle fans excited if they do pull the trigger on a center despite the overall position not being the sexiest position to talk about.
Look NFL fans often times don’t get excited when your team draft offensive lineman but that is exactly what the Seahawks need. In the later rounds, I anticipate Seattle to possibly target a wide receiver, defensive tackle, and cornerback. All three areas are deep in this particular draft class. The notes on those positions can be seen below.
Wide Receiver Combine Notes:
Defensive Line Combine Notes:
Cornerback Combine Notes: