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seahawks pre-draft analysis [part 4] the draft

So in parts 2 and 3 I looked at who the Seahawks have and who their needs are. This time I will continue to look at the needs and try to map them across the draftees and the different round of the draft. I hope you enjoy it.

The Needs

On Offence the need was: RB, TE, G, RT

The Defence needs were: DE, DT, LB, CB, FS

On Special Teams there is a long term need for: K

So lets put these needs into some sort of order:

Need (in order from highest to lowest need)

Top

Mid Low/No need

Position

CB

FS

SS

RB

RT

D3RB

LB

G

WR

TE

C

DE

P/LS

DT

QB

K

LT

Now I would like to highlight that this is not a draft order. I don’t think CB will be their no.1 pick in the first round and that they will pick all the way through.

The Picks

They will trade back to generate more picks, especially in the second and third rounds, and may even be left with a late first rounder. I also think that they will generate more picks with an Earl Thomas trade, and wish they would trade Lockett too.

But lets be honest, what the Seahawks do is anyone’s guess, I’m just going to go through all the rounds and show you who I think we could/should pick up. Nonetheless, for reference, as it stands these are the picks that they have:

1: 18

2: –

3: –

4: 20

5: 4, 9, 19, 31

6: –

7: 8, 30

The Players

Considering what I just said about trading back and generating picks, I believe that the Seahawks will generate picks in every round, and equally I believe that there is talent in every round.

The following are the talents, with approximate draft round that I see as the biggest value additions. I tried to reduce it to a maximum of three per position:

  Draft round
Position 1 2 3 4 5 6

7

Offence

RB

Kelly, Ballage Walton

 

OL

Hernandez Wynn O’neill

 

 

TE

  Thomas      

Dissly

WR

  Kirk St.Brown     

Henderson

Defence

CB

Oliver Hill

Wallace

LB

  Griffin Avery Beirria

DE

 Aruna

DT

 Hurst  

 

S  

Quiero

As you can see there are players for all the top need positions. From the mid need I grouped the OL positions (Hernandez and Wynn are guards and O’neill a tackle), cut the kicker position (they may pick a guy up as an UDFA) and even though I left safety in, Quiero is not a FS more of a hybrid. He may even go as a UDFA in which case I don’t see the Hawks drafting a Safety at all. This class is rather weak at the position. From the Low/No need I included WR, because there are some intriguing prospects that I really like.

Draft Strategy

Let’s start by talking about the positions from the Low/No need category:

LT – great starter and promising depth. no need to even think about it.

QB – pick up a young guy as an UDFA, don’t waste a pick on it.

P/LS – no need here.

C – decent starter and backup, two if you count Pocic.

WR – great starter and interesting prospects on the squad. Potentially have a slot (Baldwin), speedster (lockett) and long guy for the sideline (group of 4 battling it out). but due to my proposed trade of lockett and great players in the draft I would like to see them pick one of my suggestions up. Kirk is a second round guy in the mold of Baldwin and having him on the offence would be a great move for the Hawks. I am a bit biased on 3/4th rounder St.Brown because he is half german, but I genuinely think he could be one of the best receivers out of this draft. He could walk on and replace Richardson, who I think he has some similarities with, including big play ability. If he doesn’t land with us I have seen him go to the Saints and I think he could be in great hands there opposite Thomas. Henderson could be a late round speedster who replaces Lockett, also as a returner.

D3RB – all set with two great playmakers, potentially grab a guy as an UDFA to compete before the season starts.

SS – no need here, but altogether the Safety class is so weak that I looked at this position together with FS. There was only one guy who I really want them to pick up, and that is Kyle Quiero who may even go as an UDFA but would  definitely be worth a pickup in the 7th round. He is tough and a leader, and could be a great guy to have on the team.

Moving on to the mid needs:

K – who wastes a draft pick on a kicker? Not even if you’re desperate. UDFA

DT – we have a really decent group, but could potentially pick up one more guy if the Hawks are sold on him. Hurst could be an amazing addition in the first round, even with concerns about his heart. He can be a special player, but you have to be sure that he isn’t going to have heart problems. Otherwise they may add a late guy, or UDFA, I am not so sold on the other early guys at the position in this draft. At least not the one available, Da’Ron Payne looks like he will be a really good guy in the NFL though.

DE – you can never have enough good DEs, they make the play for the rest of the D easier and help get your offence on the pitch. Altogether though I have to say that I was only really impressed with Ade Aruna who will likely be available in the 4th round. He is athletically gifted and will have dropped due to production last year, that wasn’t really his fault though, more due to a change in team formation. I don’t see this as a big draft need so mid round seems good.

TE – I think that the hawks have a really good group at this position, but they have no star. I think that Ian Thomas can be that star TE and I was very impressed with his combine, the question is whether you want to use a 2nd round pick on a position you are ok at, when you have more pressing needs. That is where Will Dissly comes into play, who figures to be a 6th round pick. I really liked him at the combine, tough, gritty and he seems like a guy who will get the job done.

OL – The hawks always draft OL early and so they should this year. If they decide to draft the position they need to be looking at starters. Hernandez is a late first round guy who would be great for the Seahawks both because of his mean attitude, support of the run game and mentality. One of the standouts at the combine for me, he is the missing piece at Guard who could walk into the team,play and make us better. Wynn seems like a solid second round option, with the potential to also be a starter at guard. Basically I don’t think the Seahawks need depth at OL, they have enough of it. This brings us to the tackle O’neill who, as a third round guy, might still be better than Ifedi. I liked what I saw from him.

Now for the top needs:

LB – this is quite a deep class at LB so we don’t need to go early, especially because we need backups not starters. I think that we could pick up two guys in the late rounds 5/6 in Avery and Beirria, who could be Wagner/Wright backups. There is a lot of depth needed there and these guys have the right mentality to be Hawks. Talking of mentality, the guy in the draft who the Hawks just can’t miss out on is Shaquem Griffin. The twins could become the face of our franchise so draft him wherever you like so long as it guarantees that we get him. I am so all in on this guy that I would take him with no arms. Seriously though, he has the mentality that can drive a team to win. I don’t think it was an accident that his college team went undefeated last season.

RB – I spent a good amount of time analysing this group. To start with the Seahawks need a bruiser who can potentially be a starter, ideally an every down back. The second round guys this year are pretty damn good, but I don’t think any of them are perfect, especially not for the Hawks. On the other hand some of the third round guys are exactly the kind of physical, tough runners who may not be flashy but will run it down your throat and also have some tricks up their sleeve: Kelly and Ballage. They both have great styles of play and like to finish their runs. I find it really hard to say which one of the two I prefer, but something about Kelly has struck me as special from the get go. I also think that picking up Walton in the 5th round would be an absolute steal. Another tough runner who comes out of a program that produces good guys.

CB – CB is the top need in this draft. But it will not be the first pick of this draft. When have the Seahawks ever picked a CB in the first round? I don’t think it will happen this year, but they could be persuaded to draft a guy in the second round in Oliver. I liked him straight away in the Combine, and that was before I found out about his dreamy measurables. He is a freak athlete, my only concern is whether he will have the grit to be Seahawk. On the other hand, he might not have the LOB swag, but instead be part of the new face of the Seahawks defence. To balance him out I hope that Hawks also draft Levi Wallace in the 6th round. He has a great story and just strikes me as a guy who will work his ass off. I just love this assessment: “I think he was a zero stars prospect and he’s turned himself into a starter all the way from being a walk-on. To do that at Alabama tells you about his mental toughness.” To draft him alongside a guy who has all the physical gifts and is a star decathlete to boot would be a great mix. I have also included Holton Hill who should be a mid round pick. I am undecided about him though because of character issues. Then again, the Hawks can unlock guys like that so maybe he is worth a shot.

Round for Round Priorities

Here is a quick look back at which players I had as possible draft options for each round, bearing in mind that especially with the first round guys I was only looking at the end of the first round. Also two other side notes, in the third round it is probably an either/or situation with the RBs (although I slightly prefer Kelly) and in the 4th round I am not 100% sold on CB Holton Hill, as mentioned. I have placed the players in order of draft importance for every round and the players in bold are those I think we need to get:

1st: Hernandez (OG), Hurst (DT)

this was one of the toughest to call, Hurst may be one of the biggest talents to drop this low, but Hernandez was just the one OL guy who made a massive impression on me when I watched the combine.

2nd: Kirk (WR), Oliver (CB), Wynn (OG)

i think that Kirk is the perfect WR for our offence because he excels in scramble drills and would be perfect for Wilson. It is hard to pass on a perfect fit. Oliver has the perfect body for a Seahawks CB, I am just not sure that he is going to be as tough and mean as I want him to be. Again a very tight decision between the two, if at all possible I would pick up both.

3rd: Griffin (LB), Kelly (RB), Ballage (RB), O’neill (OT)

Griffin is the guy I want. nothing goes around that. As mentioned before, Kelly only slightly edges out Ballage.

4th: Aruna (DE), St.Brown (WR), Hill (CB)

Aruna is a DE talent who I think could be a steal in this round. He also goes above St.Brown because we already have a bunch of receivers, but otherwise I would happily take him too.

5th: Walton (RB), Avery (LB)

The run game will be so important next year that we need to pick up a couple of guys who can have an impact.

6th: Wallace (CB), Dissly (TE), Beirria (LB)

Wallace is another guy who I just want on our team. He has the mentality and that something about him that will make him into a great player even though he perhaps doesn’t have the natural gifts.

7th: Quiero (S), Henderson (WR)

Both of these guys could be UDFAs but I just really like Quiero on tape and I would be really happy if we pick him up.

Summary

If we only pick up the guys I have set as priorities, I would be beyond happy. That would be an epic draft.

One of the big things you will have seen me point out in my analysis of players is character and how they can add to the face and makeup of our organisation. I think that this is at the epicenter of the draft for the Seahawks this year, as they try to redefine themselves as something different and beyond the LOB-era Hawks.

The guys highlighted as priorities all have that special something in my opinion and could really come in and help create a new era for us. This is such an exciting draft and I cannot wait to see what it holds in store for us!

 

Side note: I hope this is not the case and that the complete opposite happens, but somehow I have a bad feeling that we are going to get ripped off a bit during this draft, meaning that we don’t get the ideal draft capital from trading down or for any trades. But let’s see.

Note two: I apologise for this post a little, I left it too late and wanted to get it out before the draft so it was a little rushed, but I hope that I got the main points in. Luckily I have been working on the list of players for a while.

 

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