Seahawks Trade Down, Fill Numerous Needs in Latest Seven-Round Mock Draft
The NFL offseason is now well underway, as free agency will kick off on March 18 and the 2020 NFL Draft is just two months away.
With the Senior Bowl now in the rear view mirror, coaches, scouts, and executives will continue their pre-draft evaluations next week assessing more than 300 prospects in the annual NFL Scouting Combine.
In preparation for the festivities at Lucas Oil Stadium, here's my latest crack at a Seahawks seven-round mock draft, including three projected compensatory selections and a John Schneider approved first-round trade down.
Round 2, Pick No. 45 - Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame*
*Traded No. 27, No. 154 to Buccaneers for No. 45, No. 76, No. 194
Sliding back 18 spots to the middle of the second round, the Seahawks still land a promising pass rusher in Okwara, who produced 15.5 sacks and 24 tackles for loss over the past three seasons with the Fighting Irish. At 6-foot-4, 248 pounds, he needs to add some muscle to his frame to become an every down player at the next level. However, he has outstanding burst off the edge, something Seattle sorely lacked a year ago, and offers the flexibility to bend around the corner with ease to pursue opposing quarterbacks. He's a bit of a project from a technique and consistency standpoint, but with proper coaching, he possesses as much potential as any defensive end in this class.
Round 2, Pick No. 59 - Austin Jackson, OT, USC
Filling another prominent hole on the offensive line, Seattle snags a first-round caliber talent to replace Germain Ifedi at right tackle. Jackson will need to hit the weight room a bit and develop more of a nasty streak to create push against NFL defensive linemen in the run. Like Okwara, he's a raw talent who will need coached up from a technical standpoint. But he's a stellar athlete and his movement skills should allow him to excel in zone blocking and getting to the second level. In the Seahawks scheme, he should be able to play right away and develop under Mike Solari.
Round 2, Pick No. 64 - Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
With Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf both returning, finding another receiver may not be a top priority early in the draft. However, Aiyuk checks off the vast majority of boxes Seattle looks for at the position. Though he's a work in progress as a route runner, he can create yardage in chunks after the catch, an area the Seahawks have struggled in recent seasons. Boasting elite speed and the ability to shift into second gear in an instant, he's one of the best deep threats in a loaded draft class. Add in his desire to block on the outside as well as special teams potential and this could be a home run selection to close out day two.
Round 3, Pick No. 76 - Thaddeus Moss, TE, LSU**
**Acquired via trade with Buccaneers
By signing Greg Olsen last week, the Seahawks look much better off at tight end for 2020, but finding a long-term solution at the position remains critical. Starring for the national champion Tigers last season, Moss caught 47 passes for 570 yards and scored four touchdowns, proving himself a capable receiving threat despite lacking elite athletic traits. But what makes him a great fit for Seattle is his surprising physicality at the point of attack as an inline run blocker. He'll be able to develop behind Olsen and Will Dissly and has the upside to be a starter in the near future.
Round 3, Pick No. 100 - Ben Bredeson, OG, Michigan
Along with potentially needing to replace Ifedi at right tackle, starting left guard Mike Iupati will be a free agent and right guard D.J. Fluker has just one year left on his contract. Bredeson has some red flags entering the league, including shorter-than-desired arms. But as a run blocker, he shoots out of his stance, loves knocking defenders off the ball, and uses a power lower body to create push in the ground game. He also started 46 out of 51 games in four seasons with the Wolverines and should be more pro-ready than most guard prospects in this draft class.
Round 4, Pick No. 130 - Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
Continuing to address the offensive line, Seattle uses its fifth selection on Biadasz, another powerful, experienced blocker from the rugged Big Ten conference. Like Bredeson, he lacks desired arm length, but it didn't impact his performance as a run blocker or in pass protection for the Badgers. Per Pro Football Focus, he allowed only one sack and five pressures on 390 pass plays last season and helped Jonathan Taylor rush for over 6,000 yards in the past three seasons. Bringing a high football IQ and a mean streak to the equation, he'd be an ideal replacement for Justin Britt.
Round 4, Pick No. 143 - Harrison Hand, CB, Temple
Looking for competition to push Tre Flowers on the outside, the Seahawks use their second compensatory pick on Hand, whose size and skill set should be well-suited in the team's Cover 3 scheme. He's a willing tackler who plays much bigger than his 6-foot, 192-pound frame would suggest and occasionally delivers hit sticks in open field. He lacks refinement in coverage and can be exposed in man-to-man, but he made huge strides in the ball skills department with three interceptions last year and uses his length effectively. At worst, this is a good depth pick with the potential to eventually become a starter.
Round 6, Pick No. 194 - Antonio Gibson, RB, Memphis***
***Acquired via trade from Buccaneers
Seattle plans to have Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny back from injury for the start of next season, but that shouldn't discourage Schneider from adding extra depth in the backfield. A gadget player with experience playing receiver and running back, Gibson has good size for the position (6-foot-1, 223 pounds) and his versatility could allow him to develop into the third down back C.J. Prosise was supposed to be. Most importantly, he's an explosive home run threat in the return game and even if he doesn't play on offense as a rookie, he could supplant Lockett on special teams.
Round 6, Pick No. 214 - Jaylinn Hawkins, S, California
The Seahawks look set at safety with Quandre Diggs and Bradley McDougald cemented as starters and Marquise Blair waiting in the wings. But McDougald has just one year left on his contract and finding another developmental box safety like Hawkins would be a smart move late on day three. Offering excellent size at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, he's a physical run defender who can handle coverage matchups against bigger tight ends and has plus-ball skills with nine interceptions the past two seasons. Athleticism concerns will make him a day three pick, but his strengths make him a good value pick in the sixth round.