Tony Pauline at Draft Insider is quoting a source that believes the Seahawks will focus on offensive tackles in this years draft.
Last week sources told me they expect an offensive tackle heavy draft from the Seattle Seahawks next month. The hope is to select a versatile edge blocker as protection in case the team cannot resign Russell Okung when his contract is up in two years.
It’s an interesting dynamic.
The Seahawks need to add a tackle of some description having lost Breno Giacomini and last years backup LT Paul McQuistan. Even if Michael Bowie or Alvin Bailey start at right tackle this year, the depth at the position isn’t strong.
But the idea of also needing a possible replacement for Okung is an interesting one.
His 2014 cap hit is worth $11.2m, but it drops to $7.2m in 2015 before he becomes a free agent.
Having missed considerable time due to injury (19 games in four years), the Seahawks aren’t really in a position to talk extension this year. They can’t afford to dedicate around $10m a year to an injury-prone tackle. Okung is basically playing on a two-year prove it deal.
He needs to prove he can stay healthy.
We’ve also seen a number of high profile tackles entering the free agent market recently. Usually if you have a starting left tackle you keep them. Yet Miami allowed Jake Long to walk, Baltimore were comfortable letting Eugene Monroe find his value, Jared Veldheer left the Raiders and Brandon Albert walked away from the Chiefs.
If Okung can’t stay on the field, he might be in a similar situation in 2015.
So what would an ‘offensive tackle heavy’ draft look like?
It could mean anything. The Seahawks could identify a tackle at #32 to get the ball rolling and add a couple of later round prospects too. They might wait until #64 before going through Tom Cable’s list. Or they might even ignore the position completely in the first two rounds if the value isn’t there — instead adding two or three players in rounds 4-7 (Seattle has an extra 5th round pick).
In the past they’ve gone after needs aggressively — so don’t be surprised if they force the issue this year. Which is why I think they, more than some other teams, will show interest in a Joel Bitonio type player (as we’ve been discussing the last couple of months). They need someone who can start in multiple positions but has the potential to play left tackle if needed.
They’ve also shown a desire to add big, hulking lineman. Antonio Richardson and Ja’wuan James both fit the bill — and Cable worked the pair out last week. They could be targets at #64.
Morgan Moses is another big bodied pass protector who can start at right tackle and switch over to the left. Cyrus Kouandjio is due to hold a pro day today to try and convince teams he’s fully healthy and capable of improving on a rotten combine.
Yet it’s also clear they’re looking at later round options too. Pauline is reporting Ulrick John (OT, Georgia State) will visit with the Seahawks. He runs a 4.93 at 6-7 and 290lbs. William Poehls — a 6-8, 334lbs monster from Montana — will also make an official visit.
There’s some depth at OT this year and quite rightly they have faith in Cable’s ability to find starters later on. If the desire is to add a player who can potentially develop into an Okung replacement at tackle — I’m not sure you necessarily draft that guy two years in advance with a first round pick. That role might be saved for a developmental style player.
And the options in round one — barring a big reach — are limited following the news of Brandon Thomas’ ACL tear. Moses could be long gone with teams like Carolina picking ahead of Seattle. Bitonio could be there if they like him, but for me it’s no guarantee. After that? You’re really talking about Richardson and James — and I suspect there’ll be much greater value elsewhere at #32.
Essentially the Seahawks could attack the OT position early. They could wait until the later rounds. It could be a mix of the two.
Either way they’re going to add more than one versatile offensive lineman in this draft.
And I still think we’re looking at a situation where WR and OT are the most likely picks at #32, with a few potential wild cards in the conversation should they fall (eg Ryan Shazier).
Jarvis Landry vs Texas A&M
Increasingly I’m hoping the Seahawks find a way to add Jarvis Landry. I know — the speed. Tomorrow’s a big deal if he works out at the LSU pro day. He needs to get into the 4.6’s at best. I expect he’ll do it if he’s 100% healed from a hamstring pull.
When you watch the tape, Landry is pretty much the most competitive, sparky prospect in the draft. He high points the ball superbly. He wins contested passes. He has huge, reliable ten inch hands. He’s capable of the spectacular catch and he’s at a superior technical level compared to most receivers in the draft thanks to his time working with Cam Cameron.
Take a look at his tape vs Texas A&M. For me, he’s a 4.63 away from being back in the first round mix. At worst he’s a tremendous value pick in round two.