This is my first mock draft in over a month. Notes below.
#1 Cleveland — Myles Garrett (EDGE, Texas A&M)
#2 San Francisco — Solomon Thomas (DE, Stanford)
#3 Chicago — Jamal Adams (S, LSU)
#4 Jacksonville — Leonard Fournette (RB, LSU)
#5 Tennessee — O.J. Howard (TE, Alabama)
#6 New York Jets — Marlon Humphrey (CB, Alabama)
#7 LA Chargers — Malik Hooker (S, Ohio State)
#8 Carolina — Jonathan Allen (DE, Alabama)
#9 Cincinnati — Christian McCaffrey (RB, Stanford)
#10 Buffalo — Haason Reddick (LB, Temple)
#11 New Orleans — Taco Charlton (EDGE, Michigan)
#12 Cleveland — Marshon Lattimore (CB, Ohio State)
#13 Arizona — Jarrad Davis (LB, Florida)
#14 Philadelphia (via Min) — Gareon Conley (CB, Ohio State)
#15 Indianapolis — Forrest Lamp (G, Western Kentucky)
#16 Baltimore — Cam Robinson (T, Alabama)
#17 Washington — Jabrill Peppers (S, Michigan)
#18 Tennessee — Chidobe Awuzie (CB, Colorado)
#19 Tampa Bay — Adoree’ Jackson (CB, USC)
#20 Denver — Garett Bolles (T, Utah)
#21 Detroit — Reuben Foster (LB, Alabama)
#22 Miami — Kevin King (CB, Washington)
#23 New York Giants — David Njoku (TE, Miami)
#24 Oakland — John Ross (WR, Washington)
#25 Houston — Patrick Mahomes (QB, Texas Tech)
#26 Seattle — Obi Melifonwu (S, Connecticut)
#27 Kansas City — Deshaun Watson (QB, Clemson)
#28 Dallas — Justin Evans (S, Texas A&M)
#29 Green Bay — Tre’Davious White (CB, LSU)
#30 Pittsburgh — Tyus Bowser (LB, Houston)
#31 Atlanta — Charles Harris (EDGE, Missouri)
#32 New Orleans — Quincy Wilson (CB, Florida)
— There’s very little buzz around the quarterbacks and that’s unusual this close to the draft. It’s still entirely possible one goes very early (my bet would be Deshaun Watson, possibly to Jacksonville). After all, who thought Blake Bortles would be the #3 pick in 2014? At the moment though, it looks like there’s a chance they will last and we could see teams trading into the 20’s to to get their guy.
— No Ryan Ramcyzk, Corey Davis or Mike Williams in round one. All three could easily go in the first round. Yet as players like Chidobe Awuzie move into the top-20, others have to drop out. Ramcyzk hasn’t done anything in the off-season due to a torn labrum and had only one year of college experience at Wisconsin. Davis has equally been out of sight, out of mind due to injury. And Williams, as good as he is, relies on winning contested catches and isn’t a special athlete.
— There aren’t many really exceptional defensive linemen. And for that reason it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Taco Charlton going a lot earlier than people are currently projecting. If you want a player with Chandler Jones style potential, you’re looking at a limited pool of options.
— There’s been a lot of talk in the comments section about moving up for a defensive linemen recently. It would make some sense. This isn’t the deepest class up front and the Seahawks have been seemingly looking for another inside/out rusher for a couple of years now. Yet it’s hard to imagine how they can pull this off. Jonathan Allen, even with a suspect shoulder condition, isn’t likely to get beyond Cleveland at #12. And if Taco Charlton is also off the board in the top-20, it becomes increasingly difficult.
— With the quarterbacks lasting into the 20’s there’s every chance the Seahawks would trade down in this scenario, before using the picks they gained to move up from #58. They did something similar a year ago. This could help them secure a dynamic slot defender and a pass rusher — arguably their top two targets.
— The Melifonwu pick comes down to extreme athleticism, his ability to play numerous roles and possibly set a new standard at the ‘big nickel’ position. Seattle could easily trade down and look at different options (Jourdan Lewis is really intriguing — he’s a battler and would give the Seahawks a genuine talent in the slot). Yet Melifonwu has felt like a possible option for some time now and if he’s there at #26, he could be the guy.
— Melifonwu ticks a lot of boxes in terms of apparent ideals. If they wanted to try him at cornerback he has a +79 inch wingspan and an exceptional broad jump (11-9). He has the type of speed they like if they wanted to use him as a LB/S hybrid (4.40) and his reported short shuttle (4.09) is exceptional for his size. He’s not the finished product by any means but with the game going the way it is — Melifonwu is a player you never have to take off the field that can play the slot, drop into a cover two and travel outside if required.
— The only thing undetermined is Melifonwu’s ‘grit’ factor. It’s hard to say whether he has it or not. It’s easy to ascertain with some players. For others it’s harder to establish. That might be why they’ve reportedly spent so much time with him during the draft process. It’s something to consider though because there are other players in the class that clearly have an appealing ‘Seahawky’ attitude (Jourdan Lewis, Budda Baker, Quincy Wilson to name three available in this mock scenario — and plenty more were off the board already).
— According to the draft trade chart, the Seahawks can get back into the top-45 using #58 and one of their three third rounders. It feels like they’ll be aggressive at some point in this draft.
— A final note. You may have noticed the new adverts in the sidebar, one for the 2017 draft caps. I believe these are available now. If you were buying one anyway and were willing to go through our links it’d be much appreciated. All money raised will be put towards running costs for the blog.