The 2017 NFL Draft is less than a week away, and excitement is building. Most NFL draft experts’ mocks for the Seattle Seahawks carry a theme: defense. The general consensus amount draft scouts and analysts is that the 2017 draft is one of the best (if not the best) defensive draft classes for some time. The Seahawks are expected to load up on defensive talent in the early rounds, especially if they aren’t able to grab one of the top three offensive linemen with pick #26. Here’s my best guess at the Seahawks draft picks, rounds one through three.
Round One, Pick 26: CB Kevin King/CB Chidobe Awuzie.
Now clearly, the Seahawks won’t be able to take two cornerbacks with one pick. However, if they end up going cornerback in round one, King and Awuzie are the most likely options. Both of them have been going at the end of the first round in most mock drafts, so at least one of them should be available when the Seahawks pick at 26. Though both have been projected to the Seahawks, they would likely fill different roles for Seattle if the Seahawks should pick either of them. King is a 6’3’’ corner with 32 inch arms and a 39.5 inch vertical, while Awuzie stands just 6’0’’ with 30 and 5/8ths inch arms. King would likely drop straight into the competition for the outside cornerback position across from Richard Sherman, and Awuzie would compete for a starting job at nickel cornerback, with last years’ starter Jeremy Lane competing for a job on the outside.
There are two factors that make it slightly more likely the Seahawks pick Awuzie if he is available here. Firstly, Jeremy Lane did not perform well as the starting nickel cornerback for Seattle last year, and the Seahawks will definitely be looking to improve that position in 2017. Second, the Seahawks have begun to play more “Big Nickel” defense, which requires five defensive backs. Awuzie would make a lot of sense as that fifth starting defensive back. However, should King still be available at the end of the first round, he might be too good for the Seahawks to pass up.
Round Two, Pick 58: OT Taylor Moton
Moton, out of Western Michigan, could be one of the premier tackle prospects in this year’s draft. The one reason he is projected as a second round pick? He played exclusively on the right side in college, which sometimes depresses the value of offensive line prospects. At six foot five, 319 pounds, he could actually be a better prospect at guard in the NFL, with the size and physical strength to hold his own against any NFL defensive tackle. Though the Seahawks did sign Oday Aboushi from the Houston Texans to presumably take over the starting right guard position, if Moton is still available come pick 58, he would be as good a value prospect as any for a Seahawks team that is still looking for depth along its offensive line.
Round Three, Pick 90: DT Eddie Vanderdoes
Vanderdoes, a 6’3’’, 305 pound UCLA defensive tackle, is a former five-star recruit who is immensely talented. However, he tore his ACL in the first game of 2015, and was not as explosive in 2016. If (and this is a big if), he is able to capture the form he showed in 2014, where he made 50 tackles (5.5 for a loss) to go along with two sacks and earned All-Pac 12 honorable mention as a sophomore, then he could become a very good defensive tackle. Even if he is not fully able to recapture his athleticism, he should make for a solid rotational defensive tackle for the Seahawks, who still lack depth at the DT spot right now.
Round 3, Pick 102: Traded.
The Seahawks have zero draft picks in rounds four or five, something they will likely be looking to remedy as the draft approaches. John Schneider and Pete Carroll love to accumulate draft picks, especially in the middle rounds, where they have historically had success finding stars (see: Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman). In all likelihood, they will try and trade one of their third round picks for picks in both the fourth and fifth round, as they try and accumulate more draft capital. If they don’t end up trading this pick, I could see them taking a look at OG Antonio Garcia, out of Troy, or WR Cooper Kupp, a sneaky pick, out of Eastern Washington.
These are my predictions for the Seahawks’ first four picks in the upcoming draft, if there’s anything that Pete Carroll and John Schneider have taught us in their six years as a coach/GM pairing, they’re sure to have a surprise or two up their sleeve come draft day. Hopefully, whichever players they draft are ready to come in and contribute immediately as the Seahawks look to return to the Super Bowl.
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