Pre-Senior Bowl Seahawks 2021 Seven-Round Mock Draft

Though the 2021 NFL Draft remains three months away, teams such as the Seahawks are already deep into preparation for the event with the Senior Bowl kicking off next week. In his first mock draft of the season, Corbin Smith finds a way to overcome a lack of draft capital to bolster Seattle's offensive and defensive lines as well as finding a potential running back for the future.
Author:
Publish date:

While the 2020 season has yet to conclude and four teams will be vying for a spot in the Super Bowl on Sunday, the Seahawks and 27 other teams have already turned their attention towards free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.

Coming up next week, the pre-draft process will kick off with the Senior Bowl, which will still be played in Mobile, Alabama despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The game will take place on January 30 as over 100 prospects will aim to improve their stock and make some money in front of executives, coaches, and scouts.

Due to last year's blockbuster trade for safety Jamal Adams, Seattle will enter the draft with only four picks, including just one in the first three rounds. General manager John Schneider will face a difficult task trying to add picks without much ammunition to trade down with in the early rounds.

Taking on the challenge, I conducted my first mock draft of the season, which features a whopping four trades to help the Seahawks turn four picks into seven selections to fortify the roster for 2021.

-Seahawks trade pick No. 56, No. 153, and No. 185 to Chiefs for pick No. 64 and No. 95

-Seahawks trade pick No. 64 to Giants for pick No. 70 and No. 178

-Seahawks trade pick No. 95 to Jets for pick No. 101 and No. 216

-Seahawks trade pick No. 122 and future seventh-round pick to Broncos for pick No. 138, No. 169, and No. 202

Without further ado, here's my first crack at a Seahawks mock draft courtesy of the Pro Football Network simulator:

Round 3, Pick 70 - Walker Little, OT Stanford*

*Acquired from Giants in exchange for pick No. 64

After making two trades to add a pair of day three selections, the Seahawks catch a break by landing Duane Brown's heir apparent with their first selection early in the third round. Back in 2017, Little became the first true freshman to start at left tackle for Stanford in nearly two decades and was named the Pac-12's Offensive Freshman of the Year. Possessing outstanding size and length, he's a fluid athlete who exhibits sound technique in his pass sets and plays light on his feet to help mirror explosive pass rushers off the edge as well as pick up twists and stunts. As a run blocker, while he isn't necessarily a physically imposing presence who will drive defenders off the line of scrimmage and will need to add strength, his mobility makes him well-suited for a zone-heavy run scheme. This would be a home run selection at this stage of the draft and it's not impossible Little could fall this far after he missed most of the 2019 season with a knee injury and opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19.

Round 4, Pick 101 - Trey Sermon, RB Ohio State**

**Acquired from Jets in exchange for pick No. 95

Using the late third-round pick acquired from the Chiefs, Schneider deals pick No. 95 to the Jets to move down six slots and add a seventh round selection. Now in day three of the draft, the Seahawks again make out like thieves landing their next workhorse out of the backfield. At 6-foot, 216 pounds, Sermon runs with impressive power and contact balance, allowing him to break through arm tackles and rack up yardage after contact. He's not the most explosive runner in this draft class in terms of straight-line speed, but he should run in the high 4.4s or low 4.5s at Ohio State's pro day and has more than enough juice to hit home runs once he gets to the second level of the defense. He hasn't been much of a factor as a receiver and may come with third down limitations, but as an early-down option, he would be a fantastic fit for Seattle's scheme and the fact he hasn't had more than 164 carries in a college season bodes well for his potential longevity at the next level.

Round 5, Pick 138 - Darius Stills, DT West Virginia***

***Acquired from Broncos in exchange for pick 122

Going into the 2021 season, the Seahawks should be set at the defensive tackle position with Jarran Reed and Poona Ford returning as starters. But both Reed and Ford will be unrestricted free agents in 2022, making this a position worth addressing a year early in the draft. Seattle does just that with one of its four original picks, using a fourth-round selection on Stills. Though undersized at 6-foot-1, 285 pounds, like Ford, his lack of height actually proves beneficial winning the leverage battle and he's a twitchy athlete who exhibits a consistent burst off the line of scrimmage. He's a serviceable run defender who will need to harness his run fits and sometimes his aggressive nature gets the best of him maintaining gap responsibilities, but his pass rushing upside coupled with a relentless motor would make this a very intriguing day three selection landing a potential future starter in the 3-tech role.

Round 6, Pick 169 - Ben Cleveland, G Georgia***

***Acquired from Broncos in exchange for pick 122

Still benefiting from their first trade down, Schneider again picks up the phone and strikes a deal with the Broncos, who send three day three picks in exchange for pick No. 122 and a future seventh rounder. Now with two fifth round picks, the Seahawks again address the offensive line with Cleveland, a massive 6-foot-5, 332-pound guard prospect who earned First-Team All-SEC honors in 2020. Though he's not a great athlete and at times struggles against explosive interior rushers in pass protection, he's a physical brute who plays with heavy hands and loves knocking defenders off the ball. He has had a few injury issues in college, but he's the kind of blue collar, tenacious blocker line coach Mike Solari would love to work with and could become Seattle's future starter at left guard.

Round 6, Pick 178 - Trill Williams, CB Syracuse*

*Acquired from Giants in exchange for pick No. 64

With Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar set to test free agency, the Seahawks could be in the hunt for outside cornerback help in April. Before opting out for the rest of the season in November, Williams was actually Pro Football Focus' second-highest graded slot cornerback in college football. But at 6-foot-1 and nearly 200 pounds, his physical stature suggests he would be an intriguing developmental prospect for Pete Carroll to work with in the secondary. He's a capable playmaker, as illustrated by his three defensive touchdowns for the Orange, and has shown himself willing to step up and make plays against the run with 93 tackles. Testing numbers will dictate where he lands in the draft and he has some technical flaws that will need to be worked through, but this seems like another quality day three selection with a starter ceiling.

Round 7, Pick 202 - Frank Darby, WR Arizona State***

***Acquired from Broncos in exchange for pick 122

Amid their late-season offensive swoon, the Seahawks struggled to find a third receiver to step up behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. With limited draft capital, the team won't be able to land a blue-chip prospect, but Darby would be excellent day three value in the seventh round. Possessing solid size (6-foot-1, 200 pounds), Darby consistently wins contested catches, he's a tough-minded target in the middle of the field in the short-to-intermediate game, and he's more than happy to mix it up as a run blocker. He doesn't have blazing speed and isn't necessarily going to take the top off defenses, but his plus-route running skills allow him to create downfield separation at times. Offering some special teams skill as well, he could compete for snaps working out of the slot and outside right away against the likes of Freddie Swain and Penny Hart.

Round 7, Pick 216 - Tarron Jackson, DE Coastal Carolina**

**Acquired from Jets in exchange for pick No. 95

Interestingly, after drafting Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson last year and trading for Carlos Dunlap, defensive end isn't a substantial area of need in the short term. Still, a team can never have too much pass rush and Jackson checks off a number of boxes the Seahawks look for at the position. Built with a sturdy 6-foot-2, 270-pound frame, the former Chanticleers star looks the part of an NFL defensive lineman and has the size/athletic traits combo to play base defensive end or the LEO position in Seattle's scheme. While lacking in the bend/flexibility department as a pass rusher, he consistently won with power against opposing tackles and has a couple of refined counters at his disposal, including a quality swim move. This helped him bust out with 18.0 sacks over the past two seasons. There's still some rawness to his game, but with proper coaching in the right scheme, Jackson could be a diamond in the rough.