Yesterday, the Seahawks agreed to terms with Ethan Pocic on a one-year, $3 million deal. The LSU product was the starting center in 2020, snapping the ball to quarterback Russell Wilson and attempting to stave off rabid pass rushers. With the trade for Gabe Jackson at guard, this shifts the team's draft needs along the offensive line. Even with Pocic back in the fold, center is certainly a position the Seahawks must look at come draft weekend.
Needs are still abound on Seattle's football team and the center position is still clouded. With Pocic's deal just for one year, it appears to be a hedge as the Seahawks search for their true franchise center of the future.
That center may be in this deep draft class.
Ohio State's Josh Myers is one of the best centers coming out of college this year and there is a possibility he will still be on the board when Seattle is on the clock later in the draft.
Myers was a stalwart at one of the finest football programs in America over the last three seasons. He snapped the ball to two fine signal callers with the Buckeyes: Dwayne Haskins in 2018, and presumed top 10 selection Justin Fields over the past two seasons. While Myers manned the center position, Ohio State owned one of the best offenses in the country, as well as one of the most productive offensive lines. They were top 10 in total yards and scoring.
At 6-foot-5, Myers is long in the arms, which will benefit him when trying to get a head start on blocking the ferocious interior defenders of the NFC West. His 312-pound frame makes him one of the larger, broader centers in the class.
With a wide base and good technique, he rarely gets beaten off the ball and pushed back. This will be a valuable trait when facing players like Aaron Donald twice a season.
Where he may lack in elite athleticism, he makes up for with sound technique and a high football IQ. His biggest strength is his run blocking, which Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll covets. Even with the offense being shuffled around with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron at the controls, there is always room in Seattle for a run-first offensive lineman.
That immense size does come at a cost, however. Other centers are more athletic and can get out to block the second level of the defense easier than Myers.
Ohio State struggled at times to keep their quarterback, Fields, upright. They ranked 92nd in the country in sacks allowed per game in 2020. Run blocking is Myers's strength and there will be some work to do to sharpen his skills as a pass-blocker.
If he's allowed to stay in his own space, he protects well. But he struggles more when there's ground to cover when picking up blitzes or offering help to the guard on either side. Thankfully, he possesses the raw physicality to properly protect Wilson, and the Seahawks have guys like Duane Brown, Damien Lewis, and Gabe Jackson in the locker room, along with offensive line coach Mike Solari, to iron it out.
Fit in Seattle
As mentioned, center is still very much a need for the Seahawks. Pocic only returned on a one-year deal and nothing is guaranteed. It seems unwise to pin Pocic as the starter right off the bat when Seattle's star quarterback chirped about his lack of protection, which involved Pocic at center.
Myers has the talent, physical tools, and experience to be a Week 1 starter as a rookie, given a strong training camp. That way, Pocic can either be a reliable depth option at all three interior line positions or can be cut to save some precious cap room for extensions and signings down the road.
The former Buckeye is one of the best and most realistic options the Seahawks can nab in this year's draft to fill a vital need.