After establishing the picks that the Seahawks could end up with and their needs (in my version they traded Wilson) and then looking at the Quaterback position in the draft, this post will be looking at the biggest need on the Defense: DT. The perhaps deepest position group in this years draft, and accordingly I have players that I like at each level.
I would argue that the Seahawks have their starters set in Reed and Ford, but behind that is nothing. Meder is currently the only backup and we don’t know what we can expect from him yet. It is paramount to create a top rotation in the interior. I would utilize the strength and depth of the draft to pick up 2-3 DTs and create a great rotation.
Without further ado, I will dive into the top 5 prospects that interest me:
1st round talent
Jeffery Simmons – 28.07.97 (21) (age) – 6′ 4″ (height) – 301 lbs (weight) – 34 1/2” (arms) – Mississippi State
should be a top 5 player (purely based on athletic talent), but he made a massive mistake and will therefore probably drop to the end of the first round if not into the 2nd. Maybe that’s fair. On the other hand you could point to the model student he has been since the incident and say that he was young and made a massive mistake which he has been trying to rectify. Just to be clear, this has not been a pattern of behavior by him but a lone incident.
To outline the situation a little – as someone who has done some reading into what independent people found out but doesn’t claim to know all the facts – this is what I found out: publicly, in a street with lots of people around, during the day, there was a fight between two women. One of them was the sister of Simmons and initially he tried to break up the fight. When the two women started fighting again something is said to Simmons or his sister (allegedly insulting Simmons’ dead nephews) leading to him striking the woman, as well as hitting her again several more times when she was on the ground, before pushing his sister away from the girl and walking away himself.
In the end he got charged with simple assault and was found guilty of malicious mischief. His sister and mother were also charged with simple assault, while the other lady was charged with disturbing the peace. I don’t want to make excuses for Simmons, what he did back then was inexcusable, but three years down the line there are several things that come into play. Number 1, as far as the judiciary system goes: he was charged, paid the fines and is clear from that side. Number 2, in the beginning of the incident he is trying to stop the women from fighting, then something was said and for a brief moment this 18 year old kid (no matter how big he is he was a kid in highschool when it happened) lost it in the heat of the moment, but even after he hit the woman at the end he pushes his sister off her before walking away. Clearly a nerve was struck and that can’t be allowed to happen, but from before and after the incident you can see he has grown from it an I do not believe that this moment should ruin his life forever. Number 3, since he got his second chance he has been nothing short of a model student on the field and off it – clearly trying to make up for his mistake.
He said he felt like he needed to protect his family, and maybe that plays into it too, but also immediately after said that no matter what was said to him it does not justify his actions. He is right. I think that the problem is that all of these incidents get put into one drawer, with a lack of punishment for domestic violence a serious issue in the NFL and general sporting community. But this wasn’t domestic violence, this isn’t someone who doesn’t have respect for women and I will go back to it: this isn’t a pattern of behavior. This was a one off situation in an extremely heated moment where a kid just snapped and it is my opinion that he has done enough to show that he really regrets what he did. In 2018 he won the Newsom Award for his work on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
So, with the off the field issues discussed – and cleared in my opinion – I will move onto the field. He is pure strength and athleticism, with weaknesses in his instincts and getting stuck on the person he is dealing with, rather than following the ball. However, if he gets through he is a homing missile to the ball or QB, who can shed blockers and get he job done. He has a rare combination of speed and strength which should allow him to be really successful at the next level. Could do with some extra work on technique though.
The Seahawks have a way of taking such players and bringing them onto the right path – even though I would say that Simmons has already done a lot of that himself. I would be happy to take him in the first round with our second pick.
2nd-3rd round talent
Dre’mont Jones – 05.01.97 (22) – 6′ 3″ – 281 lbs – 33 3/4” – Ohio State
Was a basketball player in highschool, very athletic and it showed at the combine. Able to get good penetration at the line of scrimmage. Can play all three downs. Probably needs to add some weight, and it will be interesting to see if he can still play as well, or whether he can transition to EDGE. Very good with his hands. Projected to go in the 2nd-3rd round.
Trysten Hill – (?) – 6′ 3″ – 308 lbs – 33 3/8” – Central Florida
most impressive DT at the combine besides Quinnen Williams – in my eyes. Movement looked fantastic, explosive and fluid. seems good at keeping his eyes on the ball.
concerns about his character and maturity because he didn’t see eye to eye with the new coaching staff he had in his last year so he went from starter to sub. When you see his play against Memphis though he was an impact and a terror in the backfield. He flashed the ability to be really exciting. Same school as the Griffin brothers, so he would have been a starter when they were still there.
If I miss out on Simmons in the first round then Hill becomes priority and I take him in the 2nd. As it is, he projects to be a third round draft pick and my preference over Jones for the taller, more athletic rushing DT.
4th-7th round talent
Daylon Mack – 23.02.97 (22) – 6′ 1″ – 336 lbs – 31 1/4” – Texas A&M
in this section of the draft we find our big guy to compliment the line. Mack is huge, but also very fast in his straight line speed at only a couple of milliseconds slower than Hill who has 30 less pounds on him. Altogether very impressive speed for his size.
Eats up double teams with his thick frame and low center of gravity. Plays well against top linemen. Gets his hands up to bat down the ball. Twitchy for his size and hussels to the ball. Bursts into the backfield.
Big improvement to 2018 with a coaching change. I think that he could make another leap when he gets to the pros. He is actually only my second favorite to Saunders, but projects to go higher than him (in round 4). Since this is also where I would be happy to draft Saunders I would be happy to take Mack if Saunders is no longer available.
Khalen Saunders – 10.08.96 (22) – 6′ 0″ – 324 lbs – 32 1/4” – Western Illinois
When I saw that he can backflip at 324 lbs(!!!) I knew that this guy is special. I loved what I saw from him at both the Senior Bowl and Combine. Similarly to how I got enamored by Levi Wallace last year and Budda Baker the year before, this is one of my guys for this year’s draft.
Rare athletic ability, I have already mentioned the backflip, but he was also utilised to catch TDs. Played some RB in highschool. Second team All American. It his blend of size, speed and power that make him completely dominant in some reps. He does however need to improve his technique and conditioning.
Great attitude and play rate to rise to the occasion. Might come from a smaller college, but has the potential to be a great addition to our team. I would grab him at the end of the 4th round and not let him slip into the 5th.
As I mentioned in the intro there are players at every level which interest me. In an ideal situation we pick up Simmons, Hill and Saunders or at least 2 out of 3. Jones is the alternative to Hill and Mack the alternative to Saunders (although I have grown to like Mack more and more and think he could be a sleeper).
UPDATE: while preparing the post for the DEs I found another DT who had slipped into that list: Gerald Willis. Projects to be a late day 2 or early day 3 selection, and while he is a bit hit and miss on his reps he has some dominant play mixed in. If he can polish up on his mistakes, his size and quickness could be a real weapon. If he is still around on day 3 he might be worth picking up.