Seahawks Bolster Defensive Front in Post-Combine Mock Draft

With rumors circulating Seattle could lose Jadeveon Clowney in free agency, general manager John Schneider wastes little time adding defensive line reinforcements with five selections in the first three rounds.
By Corbin K. Smith ,

Following an exciting four days worth of prospect workouts, the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine has officially come to a close, leaving nothing but pro days and official team visits between now and April's draft.

With less than two months now until the festivities kick off in Las Vegas, all 32 NFL teams will now be turning their attention towards free agency, which opens on March 18. For teams like the Seahawks, the next several weeks will play a critical role in determining what direction they choose to go early in the draft.

After a busy week in Indianapolis, here's my latest stab at a Seahawks seven-round mock draft, including three compensatory picks and a trade down to net two additional picks courtesy of the Panthers, who moved up to select quarterback Jordan Love.

Round 2, Pick No. 38 – Josh Jones, T, Houston*

*Seahawks trade pick No. 27 to Panthers for pick No. 38, pick No. 69, and pick No. 221

As a former high school basketball standout, the 6-foot-5, 319-pound Jones offers excellent length and athletic traits at the tackle position. He’s still quite raw from a technique standpoint, especially when it comes to footwork in pass sets, but he displayed marked improvement at the Senior Bowl. Most years, he would likely be a surefire first-round target, but given the depth at the tackle position in this draft class, he could slip into the early second round. Under those circumstances, he’d be outstanding value as a replacement for Germain Ifedi at right tackle and could eventually take over for Duane Brown on the left side of Seattle’s line.

Round 2, Pick No. 59 – Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan

Addressing the pass rush remains Seattle’s greatest need and while Uche is a bit undersized at 245 pounds, he’s a bendy, twitchy edge rusher with the ability to rocket past tackles and hunt down opposing quarterbacks. Entering the draft process, some scouts were concerned by his lack of playing experience, but he performed well against top tackles at the Senior Bowl in January. The Seahawks desperately need an electric rushing presence at the LEO position and after generating 14.5 sacks over the past two seasons, Uche should be able to fill that role quite nicely. Assuming he performs well at Michigan’s pro day, he’d be good value at this stage of the draft.

Round 2, Pick No. 64 – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

Receiver may not be Seattle’s biggest priority, but adding Mims as a complementary talent alongside Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf makes a great deal of sense at the end of the second round. The Baylor standout offers outstanding size (6-foot-3, 206 pounds), reliable hands, and elite top speed (4.38 40-yard dash) as a former track star at the high school level and produced 2,925 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns with the Bears. Like Metcalf, he presents a large catch radius and could develop into another reliable red zone weapon for Russell Wilson. He also is a willing run blocker, a prerequisite to make it as a receiver in Seattle.

Round 3, Pick No. 69 – Marlon Davidson, DT, Auburn*

*Acquired via trade with Panthers

Davidson drew headlines at the combine by saying he loves football because he “can literally go out there and hit a man consistently, and pound him, and the police won’t come." The comments were a bit of an eye-opener for some, but the physical 303-pound defensive tackle plays with the mindset Seattle loves along the defensive line and brings a well-rounded game with him to the NFL. Capable of playing three-tech alignment and sliding out to defensive end, he produced 28 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks in four seasons with the Tigers and could be a viable replacement option if the Seahawks lose Jarran Reed in free agency.

Round 3, Pick 100 – AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College**

**Compensatory selection

With Chris Carson entering the final year of his rookie contract and Rashaad Penny recovering from a torn ACL, snagging a running back from a strong class at the position a year early would be a prudent choice. Possessing rare burst for a 247-pound back and the ability to bowl over defenders in bunches, Dillon rushed for 4,382 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns in three seasons with the Eagles. He bolstered his stock substantially by running a 4.53-second 40-yard dash and posting a 41-inch vertical jump. Though he’s not much of a threat as a receiver stat-wise, the bruising back actually has serviceable hands and would be an intriguing replacement candidate if Carson isn’t extended and departs in 2021.

Round 4, Pick 130 – Alton Robinson, DE, Syracuse

While Uche will settle in at the LEO position, the 264-pound Robinson gives the Seahawks an intriguing every down option who may be able to play either defensive spot in time. He showed off his bevy of athletic traits in Indy, finishing third among defensive linemen in the 40-yard dash (4.69 seconds), and posting an impressive 35.5-inch vertical jump. Those attributes can be seen on game film in flashes, particularly in the pass rushing department, as he recorded 10.0 sacks his junior season for the Orange. He has yet to find consistency as a run defender and can disappear at times as a rusher, but with adequate coaching, he’s a high upside pick early on day three who should be able to contribute as a situational rusher right away.

Round 4, Pick 143 – Netane Muti, G, Fresno State**

**Compensatory selection

Facing the prospects of breaking in a new starting left guard for the sixth straight season, the 315-pound Muti's skill set fits the preferences of coach Mike Solari. He's a physical, mauling run blocker who plays with heavy hands at the point of attack and can bury defenders into the turf. Unfortunately, he has had trouble staying healthy, as he missed two full seasons with Achilles injuries and played in just three games as a senior before a Lisfranc injury ended his campaign prematurely. When healthy, he looks the part of an NFL guard and could compete against Phil Haynes for playing time on the left side. At this stage of the draft, his injury history is well worth the risk.

Round 5, Pick 154 – Essang Bassey, CB, Wake Forest

After playing well at the end of his rookie season, the Seahawks indicated the slot cornerback is Ugo Amadi’s to lose. But that doesn’t mean the team won’t look for capable competition to push him or flat out beat him out, which explains the decision to pick Bassey midway through the fifth round. While too small (5-foot-9) to play outside corner in Seattle’s scheme, the ex-Deacon Deacon posted quality times in the 3-cone drill (6.96 seconds) and short shuttle (4.13 seconds), exhibiting the short-area quickness needed to excel at nickel corner. He also has plus-ball skills, as he produced 42 passes defensed in his final three seasons as a starter against ACC competition.

Round 6, Pick 214 – Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech**

**Compensatory selection

Surprisingly, the Seahawks have only drafted four tight ends since John Schneider arrived in 2010, but all four of those players were between 250 and 259 pounds and ran very similar 3-cone drill times. The 253-pound Keene checks off both boxes, as he finished near the top of the list for tight ends by running his 3-cone in 7.07 seconds. He’s still developing as a blocker, but has shown the willingness to get physical at the point of attack while also exhibiting decent receiving skills while playing in an offense lacking consistent quarterback play. Drafted at this stage, he could learn for a season behind Greg Olsen before taking on a bigger role in 2021.

Round 7, Pick 221 – Reggie Robinson, CB, Tulsa

*Acquired pick from Panthers via trade

Sticking with status quo, the Seahawks wait until day three to select a developmental outside cornerback prospect in Robinson. Though he lacks the ideal arm length (31 1/2 inches) for a Seattle corner, he does have a desirable 6-foot-1, 205-pound frame and put his wide array of athletic talents on display in Indianapolis. He finished seventh among his position in the 40-yard dash (4.44 seconds) and placed fourth with a 132-inch broad jump, showing off speed and explosiveness. He's a work in progress as a cover corner, but with his physical tools and size, coach Pete Carroll would enjoy the opportunity to develop him as he plays on special teams immediately.