This Post is going to be a more in depth look at the individual players chosen by the Seahawks in the 2017 Draft. It follows on from [Part 1], where I broadly outlined what the Seahawks had chosen and what grade I give them for this Draft Class. Noting that, judging by past experience, these guys are probably better than everyone thinks…Exhibit A. All I am saying is have faith in Schneider and Carroll, as well as their coaching staff.
So let’s get into it. The Seahawks picked 11 guys in the Draft this year, joint most with the Vikings and Bengals. In this blog post I will be looking at the Players in the Order that they were chosen:
- Round 2 | No. 35 | (DT) Malik McDowell, Michigan State
- Round 2 | No. 58 | (OL) Ethan Pocic, LSU
- Round 3 | No. 90 | (CB) Shaquill Griffin, Central Florida
- Round 3 | No. 95 | (SS) Delano Hill, Michigan
- Round 3 | No. 102 | (DT) Nazair Jones, North Carolina
- Round 3 | No. 106 | (WR) Amara Darboh, Michigan
- Round 4 | No. 111 | (SS) Tedric Thompson, Colorado
- Round 6 | No. 187 | (FS) Mike Tyson, Cincinnati
- Round 6 | No. 210 | (OT) Justin Senior, Mississippi State
- Round 7 | No. 226 | (WR) David Moore, East Central University
- Round 7 | No. 249 | (RB) Chris Carson, Oklahoma State
Round 2 | No. 35 | (DT) Malik McDowell, Michigan State
the Seahawks wanted this guy and would have probably picked him in the first round. That they got him in the second along with a bunch of draft picks makes this a golden grab from a draft perspective. But let’s look at the guy himself. He will come in and be competing all along the line with the versatility he brings. I think that he might see some time at DT, simply because the guys in front of him on the outside are too good and because he played more snaps last season on the inside so it will make it easier for him to transition to the NFL. The current greats Bennett, Avril and Rubin are all getting older, so McDowell will be a great injection of energy and dominance for a DLine that has been adding great impact players over the last years in Clarke and Reed. Physically he is a freak. When he get’s past opposing OLs he still seems to move with incredible speed. He is a really tall guy at 6’6″ with overly long tree trunks as arms he can be a playmaker. And in that “can” lies the problem. The main negative thing I’ve heard about him is attitude related. Whether that is laziness or not getting the technique down. If he does, however, knuckle down, doesn’t get complacent and doesn’t solely rely on his physical abilities, he could become something really special. The first guy who came to mind when I saw him was Calais Campbell, and looking into more detail their pre-draft measurables weren’t too different either.
Round 2 | No. 58 | (OL) Ethan Pocic, LSU
The prototypical Seahawks Offensive Lineman. I imagine that he will go through a similar couple of years as Britt, who played three different positions in his first three years before finding his place at C in 2016. Prior to the draft he was even compared to Britt and said that’s who he molds himself after. It is very fitting that Pocic regards himself as an OL player rather than a positional specialist. He looks like a tough guy who can stand up his man by keeping his hands on him once they connect and can create gaps for the run, something the Seahawks had problems with in 2016. He moves to the 2nd level well but is patient, something which might go away a little while he gets used to the speed of the NFL, but will come back with practice. Really smart guy who can make quick and good decisions, knows what angles to use and has great movements to match. The biggest challenge for him will be his height, which Defensive players will look to leverage. Has a realistic chance of making the starting lineup. Comparable in every way to Britt. Almost the same physically and both really smart guys. Britt was the best OLineman for the Seahawks last Season, let’s hope Pocic will have a similar career.
Round 3 | No. 90 | (CB) Shaquill Griffin, Central Florida
Griffin is a player who fits into the Seahawks mold on and off the field. On the field he is a hard hitter and off the field he runs a track team for younger kids (with his dad and uncle) and wants to get involved more in motivational speaking to reach people. According to him, Football is just a platform for that. He chose his College based on a school that would accept his brother too (who is a top player at the linebacker position, but had to have his hand amputated as a child), although he had better offers. I hope that being separated from his brother this season will have a positive, rather than negative, effect in that he focuses on himself and being the best he can be. He hasn’t given himself the best starting position because playing in a worse league during his College career will make the transition to the NFL a bigger step. He does, however, have the natural abilities to be a top corner and a leader. What I have seen on some of his tape is that he is pretty strong when he gets the WR to the outside and also has a good feeling for what is going on around him, whether it is with the ball or the receiver in his back. But when the WR takes an inside route he got beaten more often. He ran the fastest 40 amongst all corners in the Combine, which was surprise because he had been labeled as a slower guy, so it will be interesting to see how he translates that into game speed. Altogether an aggressive good tackler, who is strongest with getting guys on the outside and could step in for Shead is he is not ready for the start of the season, but would likely have to drop back in behind on the pecking order.
Round 3 | No. 95 | (SS) Delano Hill, Michigan
Friends with Rawls and Clarke from Michigan which will make the transition easier. Will come in as an immediate special teams guy and might get some snaps in the slot. Tough, downhill guy. Great tackler and is drawn to the line to scrimmage. Has the ability to get to guys before they cross the line of scrimmage and tackle for loss. Definitely a guy in the mold of Chancellor, Hill works best with a rangy safety covering him, but has the ability to match up with TEs and stop runners dead. Perfect guy for the Seahawks squad, who were missing someone like him when Chancellor got injured in 2016. Also might be considered for CB.
Round 3 | No. 102 | (DT) Nazair Jones, North Carolina
Again, fits the Seahawks mold for a lot of off the field reasons. He does work in the community, starting his own non-profit in college that helps underprivileged youth. On a personal level he had to overcome extreme circumstances in being diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome while at high school, he lost 50 pounds and had to learn to walk again. But the Seahawks love that grit to plough on, and have the ability to turn it around, in a player. This all shows in his character on the pitch where he was a defensive captain at North Carolina. He is the guy who steps up when his team is losing or not doing so well, is not scared of taking on responsibility and will drag his team along. What I also saw from his tape was an unusual amount of tackles for a DT, including a lot for loss. Great against the run, perhaps a little weaker when it’s a passing play. I think he will be a great addition in the centre, splitting time with McDowell as a backup. Further down the line he might be able to take over for Rubin and I see McDowell transitioning outside.
Round 3 | No. 106 | (WR) Amara Darboh, Michigan
All I can say is that if he translates what it he showed in College to the NFL in a consistent way, he will have been an absolute steal. Here is a lowdown of the things I saw from his tape: he breaks tackles and makes good yards after catch, he has strong and long arms for jostling with DBs, he is a winner in 50/50 situations, not scared to go over the middle or make catches in traffic, can take a knock, made a bunch of one hand catches and has really strong comeback routes. The Seahawks don’t really have a guy at the moment, apart from maybe Baldwin, who regularly goes into the middle, where it hurts and you know you’re going to get hit hard. That is the main thing he will bring and I think that if Kearse isn’t careful, Darboh will be taking some of his snaps as he is also a willing blocker.
Round 4 | No. 111 | (SS) Tedric Thompson, Colorado
I hope that his previous concussions don’t prove to be an issue. He is a rangy playmaker with a similar skill set to ET III, neither of them have elite size but make up for that with great football intelligence and instincts. Thompson was one of the best coverage safeties in college football and his play leads him to attack the ball rather than the player, generating turnovers. I think he could be really great and similarly to DeShawn Shead could transition to CB if needed. One of my favourite Seahawks picks.
Round 6 | No. 187 | (FS) Mike Tyson, Cincinnati
The Seahawks are considering trying him out for corner. I have to say though, watching some of his tape that he doesn’t stand out as much as some of the other picks. He makes good plays on the ball, is a big tough guy and a really solid tackler, I guess that maybe you could compare him to a less polished version of Shead on the Defence. It will be really interesting to see him play. Either way I believe that he makes for a solid backup and will probably contribute on special teams if he makes the cut. Also played some nickel last year so maybe he will get some game time there.
Round 6 | No. 210 | (OT) Justin Senior, Mississippi State
Hot and cold guy who has all of the physical traits but lacks in technique. When he is playing well he is a strong pound for pound run blocker, that can drive forward for the run or hold up a pocket. When he is not doing so well he can really struggle holding back DEs or makes strange decisions pushing on into the secondary too early. Altogether he is a versatile guy who can be used either side of the line and it will be really interesting to see what the coaching staff make of him. If he is going to do well in the NFL he is definitely in the right place because the Seahawks can and will coach anyone.
Round 7 | No. 226 | (WR) David Moore, East Central University
So in terms of mentality he is already a Seahawk. He describes himself as a player who “loves to compete”, Carroll eat your heart out. Described by the Seahawks as a fast, tough, physical and agressive player. It was really hard to get some tape on him, I had to go through East Central University highlight reels and guess what, when he gets thrown the ball you know it. Massive guy who dwarves CBs, can catch the ball on the outside or in traffic in the middle and is great in the red zone (something the Seahawks sorely missed last year).
Round 7 | No. 249 | (RB) Chris Carson, Oklahoma State
He is a powerback who tried to do too much fancy stuff. I have heard that he had a bit of an identity crisis in this respect but has now committed himself to running hard downhill ball and from what I have seen on tape, that is a good choice. He runs through traffic, with guys holding onto him, breaks tackles, keeps powering through walls and generally his game reminded me, in style, of a young Beastmode. Could prove to be the wrecking ball that wears out a line and makes it more susceptible to Rawls’ electric moves and Prosise’s speed as well as creating space for the throw. Really excited to see if he gets a look in at RB, but he has a good chance because he has the style Carroll covets in a RB and because Lacy hasn’t always played in the last years. In the long term, if he establishes himself, he could replace Lacy and would thereby complete a rejuvenated backfield with Rawls and Prosise.
As you might have been able to see, the Seahawks drafted a bunch of developmental players with great potential to be the future leaders of their squad. Almost each one has a story overcoming adversity and making them personalities on and off the field. Seeing as the Seahawks have a great roster at the moment, this is a great long term strategy.
That concludes my roundup of the 11 Draftees of the 2017 Draft Class. I hope it has given a bit of an insight, even though the main insights will now come as they start to work out and when we see them in preseason games. Keep up with the blog for more updates.