— This could be the most unpredictable draft in a long time. The players going at #8-10 might have a similar grade as the players going in the 20’s. You’ll get a prospect at #15 arguably with a similar grade to the player at #40. Relatively minor aspects will act as tie-breakers. Names largely associated with round two could easily go a lot earlier than people expect.
— A good example is Evan Engram. He ran the same forty time (4.42) as Adoree’ Jackson despite weighing 48lbs heavier. He’s a reliable catcher with a great attitude. He’s explosive, a willing blocker and a better athlete than Jordan Reed. Players like this don’t often get out of the first round. He’s tipped to go in the 30’s but it shouldn’t be a surprise if a team like Tennessee decides to make him a top-20 pick.
— Where the first cornerback falls could be important. If it’s at #5 to Tennessee, we might see an early rush on the position. This could impact the Seahawks because if they don’t take one with their first pick, the really good options might be gone by #58. Alternatively, the overall depth at corner could mean teams wait until round two — leaving the Seahawks with a chance to draft one of the top five at the position.
— The order in which the cornerbacks leave the board is also open to debate. Marshon Lattimore is expected to go first but it could easily be Marlon Humphrey. Kevin King is understandably moving up but so is Gareon Conley. A team could become enamoured with Adoree’ Jackson’s playmaking qualities. And the likes of Tre’Davious White, Quincy Wilson and Cordrea Tankersley are good enough to go earlier than a lot of people are projecting.
— Obi Melifonwu, when asked recently who he’s based his game on, said confidently he is unique and that there isn’t anyone like him. When you think about it, he’s right. Physically there isn’t anyone like him.
— The second round will be a fun one for Seahawks fans. Having added O-liners and linebackers in free agency, there’s a degree of flexibility for Seattle (assuming they draft a needed defensive back in round one). It’s entirely possible they’ll address a stated need (DB, OL, LB) at #58. Yet the options at receiver and tight end could be equally enticing.
— The depth at tight end possibly pushes that position into round three or even day three for Seattle. Yet if they wanted to add a receiver, it’s not improbable they could be looking at one of Zay Jones, Chris Godwin or JuJu Smith-Schuster being there at #58. It’s not Seattle’s greatest need and it’s entirely possible they don’t go in that direction. Yet it could be a situation where — if the top DB’s, LB’s and OL’s are off the board at #58 — they see some long term value.
— I didn’t include a D-line pick in my seven-round mock draft because it’s hard to find a likely target. This class is rich in bigger, athletic nose tackles that will be available on day three. It’s light on interior pass rushers and top heavy on EDGE rushers.
— For example, DeMarcus Walker at Florida State has received good reviews for his pro-day performance. Yet his workout, including a 31.5 inch vertical, 9-7 broad and 21 reps on the bench, only provided a 2.96 TEF score. It’s not terrible but there were over 30 players at the combine that tested over 3.00.
— That’s not to say there aren’t D-liners they will like. It’s generally an explosive group. Dalvin Tomlinson at Alabama would possibly be a fit — but is another Jarran Reed type likely in the first two rounds? Are you willing to snub the DB’s, LB’s, TE’s, WR’s and other rich positions to take a Carlos Watkins or Eddie Vanderdoes before the end of day two? Will the likes of T.J. Watt, Tyus Bowser and Jordan Willis go too early? And at what point are you comfortable considering a player like Tarell Basham or Daeshon Hall?
— Sometimes you just feel momentum really building with a prospect and they end up going a lot earlier than people originally thought. That could easily happen to Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech.
— It’s really unlikely the Seahawks trade Richard Sherman. If they did, however, here’s something to remember. Pete Carroll isn’t just Seattle’s Head Coach and VP of football operations. He’s the best secondary coach in the NFL. And if they had to plug a rookie or two into the line-up in 2017, they’d probably be ‘just fine’ (as Carroll might say). It’ll probably be a moot point though because even if teams are interested in Sherman, the strong cornerback draft impacts value and the Seahawks aren’t going to give him away.
— Keep an eye on Texas Tech FB/TE Tyler Scalzi. John Schneider was at the Texas Tech pro-day today where Scalzi recorded a 36 inch vertical, a 10-6 broad and managed 37 reps on the bench. He also ran a 4.69. Impressive. He was part of his High School wrestling team for all four years. He was also a walk-on at Texas Tech. He has the grit and the profile.
— Whoever Seattle takes with their first pick, they’ll be a really dynamic and unique athlete in some shape or form. That’s why the likes of Kevin King, Obi Melifonwu and Adoree’ Jackson make sense (as do a handful of others). The Seahawks shoot for greatness, backing the coaches to bring it out. This is still the staff that turned one of the NFL’s worst rosters in 2010 into one of the best in the space of two years — without lots of top-10 picks. Their formula does work. There are just more teams trying to copy them these days, taking away some of the options.
— Greater depth and competition, plus a playmaker or two, might not sound overly exciting to fans. It’s important to remember how close this team has come to being in the NFC Championship the last two years despite a laundry list of issues, injuries, distractions and drama. This is the draft class to achieve greater depth. It’s loaded in rounds 1-3, where the Seahawks have five picks. And while they might not hit five home runs, they should be able to find competitors and contributors — plus a sparky playmaker at the top.