Last year, I wrote a fairly massive post in the hours before the start of Day III covering all the good remaining players. I thought about doing that again today, but then I looked over the remaining talent and was amazed by the sheer amount of it. There are roughly 75-100 players that I consider at least arguably worth a 3rd round grade or better, and I expect many of them to remain when the draft is over. Considering that Seattle has ten picks coming up, it makes for the most exciting Day III that I’ll ever experience in my lifetime, most likely.
Consider- this is already the best Seahawks roster in team history. This is one of the deepest drafts many people have ever seen. We have a front office that is considered to be the best in the league at nailing late round picks. And we have an incredible ten picks to use in the late rounds. The term “perfect storm” feels like an undersell.
When I returned to the blog back in January and talked about my excitement for this draft, I was essentially referring to today specifically. I knew all the way back then that we’d have an unbelievably loaded late round draft this year, and it appeared Seattle would have a lot of picks too (though I wouldn’t have guessed we’d have this many). Now is when the fun really begins. Especially if you’ve done your homework.
If you’ve followed this blog the last few months, and if you read my recent draft visit series, you should be fairly well equipped for many of the names we’ll see later today. With that in mind, I’d just like to cover some basic things that I think might happen. Having called the Christine Michael pick in round two, I’m on a bit of a roll, so might as well see how far I can push things.
John Schneider intimated in his Day II press conference that defensive tackle was the only true need for the team in this draft. With the selection of Jordan Hill in round 3, that need is dealt with. From here on out, all bets are off. That being said, I expect Seattle to continue to target the weakest areas of the roster with a degree of preference. On the whole though, I think Seattle will be on the hunt for the best athletes available, guys like TE Chris Gragg, T Luke Marquardt, WRs like Denard Robinson or Terrell Sinkfield (among many others), QB Matt Scott, FB/TE Kyle Juszczyk, FS Earl Wolff, SS Cooper Taylor, or CBs like Demetrius McCray, Tharold Simon, or Sanders Commings.
With that said, here are my thoughts on the positional breakdown for Day III. Remember, this isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list- I’m sure there are plenty of players the Seahawks love that are either off my radar or won’t be mentioned here.
I think Seattle will look at this position, perhaps with their next couple picks. Remember though, Seattle grades for athleticism first, and Seattle’s current #3 Tight End is a terrific athlete from South America. Upgrading on his athleticism could be very tough, and even the best athletes of the bunch would only break even with Anthony McCoy.
The most likely candidates at tight end for Seattle are Chris Gragg, Nick Kasa, and Ryan Otten. Otten visited with Seattle. Kasa was linked to Seattle by Tony Pauline. Chris Gragg is by far the most athletic tight end in the draft, though he has the build of a receiver.
There is some very impressive talent still on the board at tackle.
I’m a huge fan of Luke Marquardt and would have probably drafted him at #87 if the pick were mine to make. He has Nate Solder type measurables, athleticism, and nastiness. I don’t know if David Bahktiari fits Tom Cable profile well enough as he’s more of a finesse tackle, but he really impressed me on tape and I wouldn’t mind getting him anywhere in the draft.
David Quessenberry had better tape than I expected and has a lot of power. I think he has fringe second round talent athletically. He met with the Seahawks, too. And then you have Jordan Mills, the Louisiana Tech left tackle that was rumored to draw heavy interest from Seattle back in February.
I’m not really expecting Seattle to add a guard, but Lemuel Jeanpierre is a free agent next season and prepping a cheap alternative at center could make some sense. I don’t think Seattle would add an interior lineman under normal circumstances, but they do have ten picks to use.
I don’t think Seattle will bring in another classic running back, unless they feel he has fullback versatility (Kregg Lumpkin and Vai Taua were RB/FB hybrids last year). Kyle Juszczyk is a player I am highly intrigued by. A converted tight end moving to fullback, this Harvard grad has a little bit of Gronk to his game, beastmoding through tackles like it’s nothing.
He’s a unique player and a great athlete. I have to imagine he’s at least on Seattle’s radar. Oh that’s right, he is on their radar. He had a team visit with the Seahawks.
I’ve never seen a 4th round this loaded with quarterback talent before. I don’t need to rehash the names, but I would keep an eye on Matt Scott and Tyler Wilson with one of those 5th round picks. Matt Barkley would be something, though I feel for the guy and hope he lands somewhere with a real chance to start.
As expected, an incredibly strong and deep receiver class remains loaded heading into Day III. My favorite player, Ryan Swope, remains available, as does Rob’s, Quinton Patton. There are seriously fifteen or so receivers I’d be excited to get. It’s crazy. And though I think Da’Rick Rogers is probably another Titus Young, everything else about him is very Seahawk-like.
I think Seattle will strongly favor receivers over 6’3″, namely Marquess Wilson, Mark Harrison, Marcus Davis, Rodney Smith, Tyrone Goard, Courtney Gardner, Greg Herd and the guy who I’ve probably jinxed into being a Seahawk by not talking about him…
Brandon Kaufman from Eastern Washington. Not only is Kaufman basically a better version of Kris Durham, but he had 10 catches from 140 yards against the Huskies when he played them. He was covered in that game by first round pick Desmond Trufant.
Tharold Simon and Sanders Commings are still around. I’m not totally shocked, but whoever gets them is getting incredible value at this stage. Both are big corners that run well and have good tape.
Marc Anthony was a projected second rounder by a consensus of anonymous executives, yet still remains available, and he comes from the Pac-12.
Demetrius McCray has awful tape but awesome measurables- the kind of specific measurables John Schneider really goes for (long arms, etc).
Don’t forget about Brice Butler, the Richard Sherman type project with connections to Pete Carroll. It should be interesting to see if Seattle drafts him or if they chance using their connections to get him in undrafted free agency.
And then there is my favorite late round corner- Micah Hyde. I wouldn’t be shocked if Hyde somehow went undrafted, but he’s just a great football player. In many ways, he’s a poor man’s Dee Milliner.
Look for someone with speed. Earl Wolff is still out there. Fantastic athlete. Ditto Shamarko Thomas. Jakar Hamilton is a player I like a lot with one of those 7th rounders. I like him more than the guys he competed with at Georgia: Shawn Williams and Bacarri Rambo. Duke Williams visited Seattle and has great speed to go with his big hitting ability.
I’ve always been lukewarm on Khaseem Green’s tape. I know that he had good stats, but he seemed to me to be more of a damage control linebacker than a playmaker. I had a 4th round grade on him and felt confident he’d end up in the 4th round, and that was when I was assuming he’d run a forty time in the 4.5s. He’s not fast on tape, but he also looked like he was holding back. I don’t really care about his decent pro-day time, as players usually improve on those. His combine time was in the 4.7s. No thanks. If Seattle does draft him, it means they don’t value speed as much as I thought. I’d be a little surprised if they did. I guess we’ll see.
Cornelius Washington, who isn’t even a true linebacker, is the only remaining linebacker to run a forty time under 4.7 seconds at the NFL Scouting combine. Think about that. This clearly wasn’t the year for Seattle to grab a linebacker with a significant investment.
Later on, much later on, I would make a case for Jayson Dimanche, Craig Wilkins, Michael Clay, John Lotulelei, Ty Powell and AJ Klein. I kind of hope they avoid Jelani Jenkins, especially after the forty he ran. If Seattle doesn’t take Khaseem Green, I think there is a very decent chance they wait for undrafted free agency. The speed at linebacker just isn’t there this year.
If Seattle only had a few picks left, I wouldn’t really expect them to add more linemen on the defense. But with ten picks to spend, you can probably assume that defensive line is still in play. Some of my favorite remaining options include Stefan Charles, Armonty Bryant, Rufus Johnson, Abry Jones, Jesse Williams, Alex Okafor, Brandon Jenkins (a natural LEO), Quinton Dial, Montori Hughes, Joe Kruger, Lavar Edwards, and of course John Simon.
I’m not a fan of Devin Taylor, but I’m keeping an eye on him as he has athleticism that nearly rivals Ezekial Ansah or Margus Hunt.