It's no secret that the Seahawks need to address their offensive line. Russell Wilson was constantly running for his life last year, and things can only get worse this upcoming season with Russell Okung gone. Germain Ifedi is an option in the first round, and I'm sure Seattle loves his athleticism.
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Vernon Butler or Jonathan Bullard, DT - More athletic, interior players who makes sense.
2. Robert Nkemdiche, DE/DT - The Seahawks need an interior pass-rusher, and they've taken chances on players like Nkemdiche before.
Pick change; previously Robert Nkemdiche, DE/DT
Rd. 2, Pk. 25
Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
It's sounding like Derrick Henry could drop this far. There's some concern about Alabama running backs after several of them have flopped. The Patriots won't mind, as Henry is everything they're looking for from an athleticism perspective.
Rd. 3, Pk. 27
Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State
I slotted Robert Nkemdiche here in an earlier update. He still makes sense, but if the Seahawks go in a different direction, the athletic Javon Hargrave could be a target in Round 3.
Pick change; previously Connor McGovern, G
Rd. 3, Pk. 34
Joe Haeg, OT, North Dakota State
The Seahawks lost Bruce Irvin to free agency, so it shouldn't surprise anyone if they draft a linebacker who can rush the passer at some point.
Rd. 4, Pk. 26
Ben Braunecker, TE, Harvard
With Jimmy Graham's future in doubt, the Seahawks could look for a tight end in the middle rounds for insurance purposes.
Rd. 5, Pk. 32
DeAndre Elliott, CB, Colorado State
Seattle's latest mid-round tall cornerback, DeAndre Elliott could help an ailing secondary that couldn't stop Cam Newton in the divisional round.
Rd. 1, Pk. 26
Robert Nkemdiche, DT/DE/3-4DE, Ole Miss
The Seahawks need to upgrade their interior pass rush after losing Brandon Mebane. Seattle likes rare athletes and has shown a lot of interest in Nkemdiche. Plus, Nkemdiche is a highly rated SPARQ defensive lineman for the 2016 NFL Draft and the Seahawks rely heavily on those ratings.
Multiple teams have told me that they have off-the-field concerns with Nkemdiche. One team labelled him as having serious baggage. Another said that Nkemdiche loves the limelight and wants to be a movie star. They'd like to see him have the desire to dominate on the field.
Nkemdiche had to go to the hospital in December after jumping off the fourth floor of a hotel while in the process of getting arrested for marijuana possession. The arrest landed him with a suspension for Ole Miss' bowl game. Between the off-the-field issues and Nkemdiche's overrated play, I have him sliding in the 2016 NFL Draft.
I've spoken with GMs who share my opinion that Nkemdiche is one of the most overrated players in this draft class. In his career with Ole Miss, he would consistently break into the backfield, but rarely ever finish a play. Part of the reason for that is Nkemdiche has poor awareness. He also lacks pass-rushing moves. NFL sources say that while Nkemdiche has a great skill set, he just isn't a natural pass-rusher, and that can be seen in his pathetic sack production.
There is no doubt that Nkemdiche (6-3, 294) has a tremendous skill set with the speed and agility of a linebacker. For the NFL, he has the ability to be a disruptive presence at the point of attack if nothing else.
In 2015, Nkemdiche totaled 29 tackles, seven for a loss and three sacks, plus he caught a 31-yard touchdown pass. Nkemdiche recorded 35 tackles with two sacks in 2014. He flashed, but lacked consistency. As a freshman, Nkemdiche totaled 34 tackles with two sacks and eight tackles for a loss. He totaled seven sacks in his collegiate career.
Rd. 2, Pk. 25
Chris Jones, DT/3-4DE, Mississippi State
I have the Seahawks taking Robert Nkemdiche in Round 1, so why am I mocking Jones to them in the second round? Well, Jones would give the Seahawks a sturdy end for run downs to rest the undersized Cliff Avril for passing situations. Jones could move inside with Nkemdiche in passing situations. Jones is one of the higher-rated SPARQ defensive linemen for the 2016 NFL Draft and the Seahawks lean on those ratings.
Jones has the ability to play defensive end and tackle. The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder has a great combination of size, speed, length and athleticism. Team sources say that Jones has one of the best skill sets of any defensive lineman in this draft class, but they do have questions about his maturity and passion for the game. Sources also don't like that Jones underachieved and didn't produce as much as he should have in college given his skill set. Thus, Jones panning out could depend on him landing with the right team that will keep him motivated.
Jones had 44 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and four passes broken up in 2015. The year before, he recorded 26 tackles with three sacks and two passes batted. Jones commanded a lot of blocking attention in 2014, and that helped free up teammates Preston Smith and Caleb Eulls. Jones showed some serious potential as a true freshman in 2013, totaling 32 tackles with seven tackles for a loss, three sacks and three passes broken up.
Pick change; previously Jonathan Bullard, DE
Rd. 3, Pk. 27
Joe Haeg, OT, North Dakota State
The Seahawks lost Russell Okung and needed help on the right side of the line before Okung was signed away by Denver. Here's a blocker to help bolster Seattle's line.
This is high for Haeg in my opinion, but the Seahawks use SPARQ analysis and Haeg scored among the top offensive linemen in the 2016 NFL Draft by that metric. Haeg (6-6, 304) was the starting left tackle for North Dakota State over the past few seasons. He needed a good week at the Senior Bowl to rise up the rankings, but it didn't happen as he struggled in pass protection against the all-star defensive lineman. Haeg should move inside to guard for the NFL, in my opinion.
Rd. 3, Pk. 34
Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
The Seahawks lost Marshawn Lynch to retirement, so adding some running back depth in the mid-rounds would make sense.
In 2015, Collins averaged 5.8 yards per carry on his way to 1,577 yards with 20 touchdowns. He had 13 receptions for 95 yards, too. The 5-foot-10, 217-pounder was the feature back for Arkansas for the past few years, but made an immediate impact for the Razorbacks. Collins averaged 5.4 yards per carry in 2013 for 1,026 yards with four touchdowns. The freshman also had 11 receptions for 63 yards through the air. Collins maintained his average per carry in 2014 while running for 1,100 yards and 12 scores. He had three receptions for nine yards, too.
Collins is a physical, downhill runner who can pick up yards after contact. He's a balanced back, but lacks elite speed or power. Collins still could be a three-down starter, and it wouldn't be a surprise anyone if he turns into a great value pick from Day 2.
Rd. 4, Pk. 26
Jake Brendel, C, UCLA
The Seahawks traded Max Unger away last offseason and, not surprisingly, their center play wasn't as strong. Brendel could upgrade their competition at the position.
Brendel (6-4, 303) played well for UCLA the past few seasons, but could use more power for the NFL. At the East-West Shrine, Brendel had a quality week and did well as a run blocker and pass protector. He also had a solid performance at the combine.
Rd. 5, Pk. 32
Joe Thuney, G, N.C. State
The Seahawks have now taken a tackle, guard and center in this mock. All of them have high SPARQ ratings, plus Seattle needs to do a lot of work on its offensive line.
View Team's Next Selection
Germain Ifedi. The streak continues. Luke Joeckel, Jake Matthews, Cedric Ogbuehi and now Germain Ifedi. Four straight years of a Texas A&M LT getting drafted in the first round. Ifedi may not be the prospect Joeckel or Matthews was, or have the same intrigue as Ogbuehi (without his injury he might’ve gone nearly as high as the other two) but Ifedi is a very solid prospect in his own right. His position might be a bit unclear as he might be best suited to playing guard and not tackle but either way this guy looks like a very solid pro. Built very well for an offensive lineman at 6’6 324lbs with 36” arms. Great athlete and hands. Really does look the part. Most of his problems however come down to technique issues which leads to believe he might be a bit of a project and someone who at the least looks likely to start out at guard and hopefully transition to the outside. Seattle absolutely has to do something to stop Russell Wilson from having to constantly run for his life and could really use an upgrade almost everywhere along the offensive line so the best lineman available should be this pick regardless of where he can play.
At some point, John Schneider has to take a first round lineman…right? He has a franchise quarterback running around in circles for his life, and no Beast Mode to break five tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Seattle’s offensive identity, even with Thomas Rawls stepping in for Lynch, is still that of a hard-nosed running team, and Decker is a road-paver in the run game. He fires through his block with a powerful lower body to open up lanes and seems to take a joy—a vindictive joy—in absolutely obliterating second-level defenders. He doesn’t have the requisite athleticism, flexibility, and length to be a consistent pass-blocker on the left side—but honestly, with Russell Wilson PIVOT!ing behind him, he could be serviceable on the left side if need be. Ideally, he lines up on the right, Thomas Rawls runs behind him for the next 15 years, and Seattle wins every game 13-9.
The Seahawks desperately need offensive linemen. There is almost no need to even address the other needs because their offensive line is one of if not the worst line the NFL. Russell Okung is really the only good and reliable linemen who is going to start next year. This pick could be Vadal Alexander or Denver Kirkland for the inside of the Seahawks line. However, with Alvin Bailey being able to bounce back inside to his more natural guard position and Justin Britt another year accustomed to playing guard that would help immensely. Jason Spriggs is a very underrated offensive linemen who has gained more national attention as the season has gone along. Indiana does like to throw a lot and Spriggs showed up each and every week and usually won the majority of his one on one battles. Spriggs should excel on the right side in pass protection especially not going against the best pass rushers every week, while his run blocking could use some work that will come with coaching and getting into a strength program at the NFL level. Spriggs showed up well against players such as Calhoun and Bosa giving them a fight. Spriggs should be able to step in from day one as the starter at right tackle for the Seahawks.
NFL.com Comparison: Sharrif Floyd
My Comparison: Sheldon Richardson
Exceptional build. Carries no bad weight and has outstanding thickness and power through his rear, thighs and calves. Plus movement skills and runs like a defensive end. Has reactive explosiveness for expanded range as tackler near line of scrimmage. Wrap up finisher who won't allow running backs out of his grasp. Plays with good lateral quickness and can win the race across the face of blockers. Played stronger at point of attack this year. Proved he could penetrate and 2-gap. Showed noticeable improvement as pass rusher this season. Has a decent spin move as pass rusher and plays with the power to force his way through a guard's shoulder and into the backfield. Improved quarterback pressures from 13 to 26 this year.
Considered the top-rated prospect in the nation when he signed with Ole Miss, the 3-technique tackle is considered one of the key cogs in turning around the Ole Miss program. His talent and frame are worthy of an early selection, but his lack of high-end production and character concerns could cause him to slide. With that said, he has the talent to be an impact starter in the league.
Last offseason, the Seahawks completed a blockbuster trade that sent their franchise center, Max Unger, to New Orleans for Pro-Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham. While Graham didn't overly impress in his first season in Seattle, he filled a pressing need and should be much better in his second season. However, Seattle opened a new need by trading Unger. Last season, Patrick Lewis started at center in his place, and was downright awful. This is a bit of a reach, but Ryan Kelly is undoubtedly the best center in this draft and we've the Seahawks make reaches for offensive linemen before.
Show/Hide Other Mocks with Ryan Kelly Going to Seahawks
Rd. 1, Pk. 31
Germain Ifedi, OT,
If the Seahawks had stayed put and chosen Germain Ifedi at No. 26, I would've given this a solid "B" grade. It's a very logical pick. Ifedi is the sort of athletic player the Seahawks covet. He also fills a big need. Russell Wilson's pass protection was disastrous last season, and it was bound to get even worse with Russell Okung gone. Taking an offensive lineman early was a must.
This "B" turns into an A- because of the trade. The Seahawks were targeting Ifedi all along at No. 26, so it's outstanding that they were able to move down and still acquire him.
Rd. 2, Pk. 18
Jarran Reed, DT/3-4DE/NT,
When I saw that the Seahawks surrendered a fourth-round pick for this selection, I said that it better be a good player, or else they'd earn a terrible grade. Well, they definitely made a solid choice. Jarran Reed is a good player, but he tested very poorly. Seattle taking a low SPARQ player will surprise quite a few, but in truth, the team doesn't completely focus on that. Reed will help a weak defensive interior for sure.
All NFL scouts need to go check out Georgia Southern CB Rayquan Sam at the senior Dream Bowl in Virginia January 12-16, one of the best press cornerback in college. This kid is a sleeper entering the 2017 draft. Compare this kid like Darrell Revis , Patrick Peterson and Josh Norman all in one. Team that get him will get a great CB and special team player.