Seattle Seahawks Rookies Forecast

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell
June 3, 2013

Solid Starter

Chris Harper, WR, Kansas State – Round 4
The Seahawks traded their first-round pick of the 2013 NFL Draft for Percy Harvin, and if you include him in their draft selections, you could, in these predictions, consider him as the solid starter or boom pick. Of Seattle’s actual selection, I think Harper was an underrated pick who could turn into a starter. Veteran Sidney Rice is injury prone and his inability to make plays is what led to the team to do the deal for Harvin. Harper could form a nice trio with Harvin and Golden Tate.

By using Harvin to stretch the field vertically, the Seahawks could clean up on underneath routes with a Harper-to-Russell Wilson connection. The 6-foot, 228-pound Harper is a physical receiver who pushes around defensive backs. The senior caught 58 receptions for 857 yards and three touchdowns last year. Hiss production would’ve been better if he played in a passing offense, but Kansas State generally featured the ground game with quarterback Collin Klein. Klein wasn’t a good passing quarterback, so Harper’s numbers are impressive considering his signal-caller wasn’t a legitimate pro prospect.

Harper should see plenty of single coverage on short and intermediate routes. Seattle’s ground offense will cause a lot of teams to shade one safety to defend the run and the other to help out the cornerback matched up against Harvin. It wouldn’t be surprising if Harper becomes a starting receiver for the Seahawks.

Most Likely To Bust

Jesse Williams, NT, Alabama – Round 5
Unlike many analysts, I never saw Williams as a first-rounder. I had him in the third round of my final 2013 NFL Mock Draft. Williams, in my opinion, is a one-dimensional run-stuffer. The senior only had one sack last year and .5 sacks as a junior. He was simply a non-factor as a pass-rusher for Alabama. That isn’t going to change against the better quality offensive linemen of the NFL.

Some scouts told me they gave Williams a mid-round grade because of the lack of pass rush. Another reason why they had him lower was that Williams struggled with double-teams. Eating up double-teams would be one of his primary roles in the NFL as a two-gap defensive tackle or zero-technique nose tackle.

The Seahawks took a number of safe picks and, of all of them, I think Williams is the most likely to bust because of his one-dimensionality. That being said, I think he was a quality fifth-round selection for Seattle as a run-defender.

Potential Boom Pick

Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M – Round 2
The scouting community had a consensus view that Michael was a first-round talent. He displayed that he is a superb runner with speed, cutting ability, power and elusiveness at both Texas A&M and the East-West Shrine. The reason that Michael didn’t go in the first round was because of two college injuries and some off-the-field concerns.

Seattle already has a good running back in Marshawn Lynch, so the Seahawks coaching staff can take its time to teach Michael how to be a professional. Lynch is entering his upper 20s and having a talented backup makes a lot of sense to spell Lynch and keep him fresh. Michael and second-year pro Robert Turbin will fight for those carries, so the team has a few interesting backs to consider as its running back of the future if Lynch starts slowing down early.

The Seahawks didn’t need a running back, so to use a second-round pick – and their first selection in the 2013 NFL Draft – on Michael illustrates that they think very highly of him. The talented rookie may force his way into the lineup sooner than expected, and it seems that Seattle may be open to that. Michael (5-10, 220) has the size, speed and running ability to be a good three-down starter in the NFL.

Future Depth Player

Tharold Simon, CB, LSU – Round 5
I had the Seahawks taking Simon in the fifth round in my final 2013 NFL Mock Draft. They seemed to agree that Simon was a perfect fit as that was when the organization grabbed the big LSU cornerback. Seattle has had a lot of success going with large cornerbacks. Richard Sherman (6-3, 195) and Brandon Browner (6-4, 221) were an excellent tandem in 2012. All teams need depth at cornerback to protect themselves against injuries, so the 6-foot-2, 202-pound Simon made perfect sense as a backup for Seahawks.

Simon won a starting spot last year as a replacement for Morris Claiborne and totaled four interceptions with 45 tackles and nine passes broken up. Simon had two interceptions and 42 tackles as a backup in 2011. He has a lot of upside and could have fallen in the 2013 NFL Draft because of a debatable arrest just days before the draft.

Simon is a big corner who has some physicality to him. He looks like a good understudy in case one of Seattle’s veterans gets injured or ends up being too pricey to retain years from now. The Seahawks look like they have landed a nice depth player with Simon.

2013 NFL Draft Individual Grades:

62. Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M: C Grade
I’m all for picking the top player available – it’s questionable if Christine Michael qualifies as such – but it has to make some sort of sense. The Seahawks already had Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin in the backfield. Where does Michael fit in? This seems like a wasted selection.

Follow @walterfootball for updates.

87. Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State: C Grade
Even as a Penn State alumnus, I’ll say that this is a reach. Jordan Hill probably should have gone in the Round 5 area, but he does fill a need as an interior pass-rusher. The problem is that Hill is terribly inconsistent.

123. Chris Harper, WR, Kansas State: B+ Grade
I thought the Seahawks would go with Quinton Patton, who would have been a better value selection. I do like Chris Harper though. Sidney Rice constantly gets injured, so Seattle needed to find a good Plan B just in case he gets hurt again.

137. Jesse Williams, NT, Alabama: A+ Grade
Jesse Williams, what took you so long? It’s unbelievable that he fell this far. Some deemed Williams as a late first-round candidate. I thought he’d fall to the second or third because of the lacking need at the position, but there’s no excuse for him lasting this long. He doesn’t fill an immediate need for the Seahawks, but he’ll be useful down the road.

138. Tharold Simon, CB, LSU: B+ Grade
You have to wonder where Tharold Simon would have gone had he not been arrested on the first night of the draft for intimidating a police officer. There’s no questioning that this is a good value pick from a talent standpoint though. Simon is a great fit in Seattle’s defense as a tall, lanky corner.

158. Luke Willson, TE, Rice: C+ Grade
I never thought I’d be talking about an “other” Rice tight end, but Luke Willson could have a chance to start down the road because of the lack of talent Seattle has at the position. He’s a bit of a reach though.

194. Spencer Ware, RB, LSU: C Grade
Another running back? Why? Spencer Ware fits the range in Round 6, but this seems like a wasted pick.

220. Ryan Seymour, G, Vanderbilt: C Grade
I didn’t have Ryan Seymour as a draftable prospect, but it’s the seventh round, so who cares? I’m surprised the Seahawks waited this long to address their offensive line.

231. Ty Powell, OLB, Harding: A Grade
Ty Powell probably should have been taken in the fourth round, so I love the value the Seahawks obtained with the Harding product. Powell will provide Seattle with much-needed depth at linebacker.

241. Jared Smith, G/DT, New Hampshire: C+ Grade
Jared Smith was chosen in the right range, though he’ll be buried on the depth chart. He may not make the team.

242. Michael Bowie, OT, Northeast Oklahoma State: C+ Grade
Another needed offensive line pick, though Michael Bowie is unlikely to challenge at the poor right tackle spot anytime soon.

2013 NFL Draft Team Grade: C+ . Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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