Yesterday I started writing the first draft of a two-round mock. It’ll be on the blog some time this week, with a seven-round Seahawks projection to follow.
How good are the options at #63? Well, it depends. There are one or two nice options that we’ve talked about. Ty Sambrailo would be a good fit moving inside to guard or even center. He’s mobile with good footwork, has the kind of size to replace James Carpenter and he’s well suited to the ZBS. Tyler Lockett has the production, grit, kick return skills and ability to consistently get open that should appeal.
What if neither player is available? It’s a topic we haven’t really talked about.
When I spoke to Tony Pauline a couple of weeks ago he said Sambrailo would be good value in the late second. In a non-direct way he inferred there’s a chance he won’t be there at #63. While many other projections have Sambrailo available in the third or even fourth round, Pauline had him as a late first rounder before a substandard off-season. He doesn’t see a drop into the third.
Lockett also has enough appeal to be gone by #63. Unlike Sambrailo his stock is trending upwards. He had a terrific Senior Bowl and matched it with a good combine. With all the records he broke at Kansas State, the bloodlines, the character. With an expected rush on receivers in round two he could be long gone by Seattle’s pick.
In the mock I started to put together yesterday both were off the board. The alternatives weren’t great and the value just wasn’t there. Sure, there were options. Some of them risky. We’ll get into those when I publish the mock. It does raise the question of a move up the board.
I don’t think we should expect any major, bold moves. The value in the middle rounds is still very good, particularly at Seattle’s positions of need. They can add to the interior offensive line, receiver and possibly corner and the D-line. They have some holes to fill too — especially at guard and center. You’re not going to give away picks to go chasing one player. The Seahawks made their big move when they traded Jimmy Graham.
If they’re going to consider moving up it’s probably going to be a small jump to target a specific player. It could even be a Sambrailo or Lockett. It could be one of the other receivers. Yes it’s a rich class, but if you can get an impact player to finally round off the passing game — would you make a deal? While the Seahawks are never going to be a pass happy offense, there’s going to come a time when Marshawn Lynch is no longer there and greater responsibility will be on the teams $100m quarterback. Russell Wilson has never had a bevy of upper echelon targets. He’s been given a group of plucky overachievers.
With Jermaine Kearse a free agent in 2016 and no certainty over the future of Paul Richardson, adding another receiver he can grow with over the next 4-6 years could be just as vital as finding a starting center or guard.
What receivers could you go up for? Devin Smith, Dorial Green-Beckham, Phillip Dorsett, Nelson Agholor, Tyler Lockett. It really depends what you’re looking to add to the offense.
This is where the offensive line depth in this draft becomes a big bonus. You can find a center in the middle rounds — whether it’s Ali Marpet, B.J. Finney, Hronnis Grasu, Andy Gallik or a convert like Mitch Morse or Terry Poole. There are others too. Ditto at guard. You can fill these holes with a third and fourth round pick in this draft. The possibility of adding Chris Myers (as discussed here) or another veteran center also takes some of the pressure off. A rookie could still win the job as we saw with Justin Britt going head-to-head with Eric Winston last year. At least you have the option of a proven commodity like Myers and won’t feel you have to force things in the draft.
So what kind of compensation would you be willing to forfeit?
With eleven total picks and six between rounds 3-5, you can afford to lose one of the fourth rounders. You’ve got an early selection in that round from New Orleans, your own pick at the back end and then a compensatory selection that can’t be dealt. If you negotiate with teams about moving up 6-12 spots they’ll want the early fourth rounder.
In the 2014 draft Philadelphia traded from #54 to #42 with Tennessee for the price of a late fourth round pick. Funnily enough this was to target a receiver (Jordan Matthews). It’s unclear whether Seattle can get that type of value for the price of a fourth rounder — jumping twelve spots is a bit of a gift. Yet the options in that #50-55 range could be a lot more appealing than the options at #63.
With the draft trade chart fairly prehistoric these days, the Seahawks could point to a recent precedent for a move like this. And with the perceived value available in the middle rounds this year — a team like Buffalo at #50, Philly at #52 and Carolina at #57 could be a target area. All three teams are likely to consider adding to their interior offensive line in the draft. Acquiring an extra fourth rounder could be intriguing. It’s probably why the Seahawks wouldn’t deal their late third round pick — allowing them to make a trade like this and still ‘jump the queue’ so to speak.
It’d create a situation where essentially you gave up the #31 pick and Max Unger for Jimmy Graham and the opportunity to draft a possible impact player in round two. It’s not a bad deal overall, especially if you adequately replace Unger with a cheaper longer term solution (albeit with a possible shorter term veteran fix). You still get to pick twice in the fourth. A move like this could go some way to making the offense in Seattle almost as scary as the historically good defense.