With the Jaguars set to go on the clock with the first overall selection on April 29, the 2021 NFL Draft is less than three weeks away as a new class of players will be ushered into the league.
Due to a series of trades, including acquiring safety Jamal Adams from the Jets for a pair of first-round picks and a third-round pick, the Seahawks will enter the festivities with only three total selections. Making the situation worse, only one of those picks falls in the first 120 selections, limiting the possibility of landing a blue chip talent.
Based on general manager John Schneider's history, it would be an absolute stunner if Seattle doesn't add multiple picks during the draft by trading down and/or sending future draft picks to get back into the draft. But for this exercise, I will be searching for viable alternatives for the Seahawks to pick at each position group with their three native selections.
To kick off the series, even after re-signing Ethan Pocic, Seattle's biggest roster need remains at center. Which prospects could the team consider at the pivot position on draft weekend?
Second Round - Pick No. 56
Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
A three-year starter and two-time captain for the Sooners, Humphrey has a chance to be the first center off the board later this month, so the chances of him being available to Seattle remain slim. Allowing zero sacks last season, he's a stalwart in pass protection who mirrors well and rarely gets bullied with power despite being under 310 pounds. In the run game, he wouldn't be classified as a mauler but doesn't get pushed around either and blocks well on the move as a puller. He offsets shorter than desired arm length with sound technique and hand placement, though he can be vulnerable against lengthier defensive tackles. If he manages to fall deep into the second round, the Third-Team All-American selection would be an immediate upgrade who could beat out Pocic right away.
Landon Dickerson, Alabama
If not for major durability concerns, Dickerson could easily be the No. 1 center in this class. But he tore his ACL during the Crimson Tide's SEC Championship victory and underwent reconstructive knee surgery for the second time in five years. He also missed extensive time with ankle problems in his final two seasons at Florida State before transferring. Injury history aside, at 6-foot-6, 333 pounds, Dickerson plays to his size, regularly using his powerful base and heavy hands to pancake defenders into the turf in the run game. He has enough mobility to run pulls and traps as well. In pass protection, he's had a few issues periodically keeping athletic defensive tackles out of the pocket, but his wide base makes him difficult to maneuver around and he won't be walked backward with bull rushes. Offering guard versatility too, if his medicals check out, Seattle would love a shot at him in the second round.
Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater
Coming from a Division III school, questions about level of competition surrounded Meinerz as he arrived in Mobile for the Senior Bowl. Much to the delight of scouts, his physicality and dominance at the line of scrimmage carried over, as he dished out several pancakes against Power 5 conference standouts in the run game and held his own in pass protection drills. He didn't play any center for the Warhawks in college, but looked like a natural at the position, opening the door for him to be an early contributor. He also put on a show at his pro day, running a 4.99-second 40-yard dash and a 32-inch vertical jump at 320 pounds. A capable body mover with underrated feet, he will need a bit of technical refinement but could be ready to play for Seattle sooner rather than later.
Josh Myers, Ohio State
Somehow, after starting each of the past two seasons for the Buckeyes, Myers has flown a bit under the radar compared to his peers at the center position. But an argument can be made he may be the safest possible day two selection at the position. Though not quite as big as Dickerson or Meinerz, he has been durable and has held up well against power in pass protection, rarely getting pushed around by elite competition. He plays bigger than his size as a run blocker, showing a propensity for driving defenders off the ball and proficiency climbing to the second level off combo blocks. He's excelled in man and zone blocking schemes, so he's a system-versatile player. His athletic traits may limit his ceiling, but he's a high floor talent with day one starter written all over him.
Fourth Round - Pick No. 129
Trey Hill, Georgia
If Seattle desires a mauling juggernaut in the middle of the offense line, the 6-foot-4, 319-pound Hill would fit the bill. Winning with pure power, he consistently held his own against SEC competition as a two-year starter at the pivot position, though maintaining blocks wasn't necessarily a strength. He will surprise with his lateral mobility for his size and can be utilized effectively as a puller on power plays and traps. Hill has also shown flashes of competency in pass protection, but he has a tendency to lose leverage battles and plays too high on a regular basis. He's also coming off surgery on both knees and his medicals will determine where he's drafted. If healthy, his size profile fits what Seahawks line coach Mike Solari prefers and with improved technique, he has starter upside.
Drake Jackson, Kentucky
Though he's nearly 30 pounds lighter than Hill, Jackson plays far bigger at 293 pounds and excelled as a three-year starter for the Wildcats. A cerebral center, he has a commanding presence making line calls and rarely gets fooled by twists and stunts as a pass protector when opponents play games up front. He can be vulnerable to power as a pass blocker, but surprisingly, he has consistently been able to knock defenders off the ball as a drive blocker in the run game. He plays light on his feet and offers decent lateral movement for the position, which could make him an ideal fit in Shane Waldron's zone-centric scheme. Jackson would provide good day three value as another high-floor option who could push for playing time immediately.
Drew Dalman, Stanford
Another undersized center at 295 pounds, Dalman plays with elite technique, knowing how to deploy his hands, play with adequate leverage at the point of attack, and win the ever-so-important positional battle. He's an above average athlete as well, which allows him to hold up well as a zone blocker and consistently find his way to defenders at the second level. He mirrors well in his pass sets and when he gets his hands onto rushers, he's difficult to slip past with counter moves. What could make-or-break his chances of being a long-term starter are his persistent troubles setting anchor against bull rushes. He will need to add muscle at the next level or he may have a difficult time holding up physically against NFL defenders. If he can do that, he could find his way into a lineup early and would make sense for Seattle scheme-wise.
Seventh Round - Pick No. 250
Michael Menet, Penn State
Like many other centers in this class, Menet has shorter arms than preferred and he's a bit on the smaller side at 301 pounds. Athleticism questions remain as well and he didn't get a chance to address those concerns at Penn State's pro day for undisclosed reasons. But he also is tough as nails and durable, as he started 34 games for the Nittany Lions over the past three seasons. Capable of winning in the trenches with power as a drive blocker, he's more refined in the run blocking department and looks pro ready in that capacity. Pass protection is more suspect, however, as he endured struggles mirroring defenders and has limited range compared to many of his peers. He could potentially play early in the right scheme and offers some traits Seattle may find appealing, including being a two-time captain.
Jimmy Morrissey, Pittsburgh
Sticking with the trend of undersized centers, Morrissey is yet another prospect hovering around 300 pounds who could use some added muscle at the next level. He's a far more fluid athlete than Menet, as Pittsburgh used him regularly as a puller and one of his biggest strengths is blocking at the second level. He mirrors well in pass protection and keeps his head on a swivel, showing great awareness against twists and stunt packages. As far as shortcomings go, he has issues winning at the point of attack due to his lack of size and doesn't have much pop in his hands. As expected, he also has been susceptible to getting exposed by power rushers. As a former walk-on turned four-year starter, his backstory could intrigue the Seahawks and such intangibles could make him an ideal late day three target.