With just four picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Seahawks are unlikely to stay put with their first scheduled pick at No. 56 overall. General manager John Schneider has earned a reputation for moving down from Seattle's top pick to accumulate more capital, even when the team has had a breadth of selections.
However, if Schneider and the Seahawks are - for one reason or another - unable to trade out of the No. 56 slot and forced to stick-and-pick, there will be plenty of intriguing names for them to mull over. Here are five players that could be at the top of their board in the event they have to make a selection where they currently sit.
LB Jabril Cox, LSU
Given the significant financial and draft investments Seattle has already made at the linebacker position in recent years, this would be quite the controversial selection—to the team's fan base at least. But with K.J. Wright likely on his way out of the Pacific Northwest this spring and Bobby Wagner inching towards the end of his contract - and perhaps career - Jordyn Brooks appears to be the only long-term piece the Seahawks currently have in the unit.
Jabril Cox is an athletic specimen who can play both outside linebacker spots. He was strong in coverage at North Dakota State and LSU, showed great closing speed and physicality in the open field, and was solid in pass-rushing situations. The Seahawks need a SAM and Cox has the motor to make an impact out of the gate.
OG Trey Smith, Tennessee
If you haven't heard, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has a bone to pick with the organization and the quality of their offensive line is at the forefront of his frustrations. They can create the financial flexibility needed to address one of their two open spots - left guard and center - in a significant way this free agency period, but may have to turn to the draft to take care of whichever one is left unanswered.
Tennessee's Trey Smith is a name that's picked up a ton of steam as of late. If the Seahawks make a splash at center with someone like Corey Linsley, the 6-foot-6 Smith would be a powerful way to solidify their commitment to Wilson while also benefitting the run game.
For more information on Smith and his potential fit with the Seahawks, check out Nick Lee's draft profile on him.
CB Bryan Mills, North Carolina Central
Seattle is in a weird spot with its cornerback group right now. Starters Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar are becoming unrestricted free agents in March. The two corners who would start if the season began today - D.J. Reed and Tre Flowers - are not too far behind, with both set to hit the open market a year from now. Even worse than linebacker, the Seahawks are completely devoid of obvious long-term options at corner.
Bryan Mills is a small-school product who checks all the boxes of a prototypical Seahawks corner: 6-foot-1, 32-inch arms, and plays physical at the line of scrimmage. Likely desiring length at the position opposite the smaller Reed, Seattle could fall in love with Mills' profile and pull the trigger as soon as possible.
ED Jordan Smith, UAB
The Seahawks may already have their lead edge of the future in Darrell Taylor, but why stop there? Seattle had arguably the worst pass-rushing unit in the NFL before trading for Carlos Dunlap, so it would be best to try and not get back to that point, no? They still haven't seen Taylor take a single NFL snap; they could move on from Dunlap this offseason to create salary cap space; and Benson Mayowa and Bruce Irvin are both free agents.
UAB's Jordan Smith is still raw as an overall defender, but there's potential for multiple seasons of 10.0 sacks or more here. Standing at 6-foot-6, 255 pounds, Smith has great size and agility to consistently win at the line of scrimmage. If he adds more weight and develops against the run, he could be a second-round steal who serves as a high-end LEO for years to come in Seattle.
WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
This a deep receiver class, which is making it hard to figure out where some of these players could go exactly. Wallace is generally regarded as a second round talent who's been mocked anywhere from the late first round to early on in the third. If he's at No. 56, the Seahawks have to at least consider him given the lack of depth they currently have at wideout behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Wallace has some knee concerns after suffering an ACL tear in 2019 and seeing some flare-ups that held him out for the end of 2020. While that's likely going to drive him down some draft boards, he was a highly productive receiver at Oklahoma State and boasts reliable hands, great athleticism and speed, and above-average size out of the slot. Considering the circumstances surrounding the depth of this class and Wallace's injury history, the Seahawks could have an opportunity to draft an incredibly talented receiver well below his true pick value.