We’re already about half way through the college football season and the outlook for the 2013 draft is starting to take shape. It doesn’t appear to be a great class for offensive tackles, but there are two extremely talented interior guards who could be top-20 picks. The skill positions have plenty of depth, if not the elite top-ten picks we’ve come to expect in recent years. As usual there’s one truly exceptional cornerback prospect from the SEC – this time in the form of Alabama’s Dee Milliner.
One position is really standing out among others, however, and that’s at defensive tackle. It’s not a huge need for the Seahawks given the play of Brandon Mebane (Pro Bowl level through five games) and the depth with Alan Branch, Jason Jones and Jaye Howard. It’s worth noting, however, that both Jones and Branch are free agents after this season. The hope is that Seattle’s offense will make subsequent progress to truly allow the team to go BPA in the draft. Since 2010, the team has really been filling needs in round one and this season has shown there are pretty obvious areas for concern on offense. If they can find more offensive production going forward this makes the prospect of drafting a talented interior defensive lineman more palatable.
I’ve posted some tape below and I’ll do a similar piece for other positions as we move forward. Thanks to JMPasq and Aaron Aloysius for putting the videos together. As you can see there’s a lot of depth at DT and this is without including Georgia’s massive nose tackle Jonathan Jenkins – a potential top-10 pick particularly if teams like Indianapolis pick early. I’m not sure any of the group are out of bounds for Seattle, given they signed Branch at 325lbs to play alongside Mebane. In fact there’s nothing to stop them re-signing Jones and adding a bigger lineman such as Jenkins or Johnathan Hankins to play early downs. Howard has a ton of potential and deserves consideration as a potential starter down the line, but the Seahawks may feel the group below are too good to pass.
Sheldon Richardson is a lighter prospect and a pure three-technique, disruptive pass rusher. Star Lotulelei has the size to play the pass and run equally well but so far at Utah has looked better as a pass rusher. Sylvester Williams has prototype size for a 4-3 lineman and he has a great motor, not to mention a lot of production this season. Williams’ biggest issue is age – he’s similar to Bruce Irvin as a former JUCO transfer and will likewise join the league in his mid-20′s. Kawann Short is another athletic interior pass rusher while Hankins can feature as a nose tackle in the 3-4 or a productive one-technique in the 4-3.
It’s a great class and the position could dominate the first round next April. Whether the Seahawks ever truly consider going in this direction remains to be seen, but this is still an exciting group.