Seattle Seahawks 2017 NFL Draft Review

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EAST LANSING, MI - OCTOBER 3: Malik McDowell #4 of the Michigan State Spartans in action against the Purdue Boilermakers during a game at Spartan Stadium on October 3, 2015 in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans defeated the Boilermakers 24-21. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Seahawks are a franchise in transition. While the core of the roster is stable, general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll knew the time was now to start getting players in place for the next wave of their legacy. 2018 could be a time for significant roster changing decisions (trading Richard Sherman; whether to re-sign Kam Chancellor, Jimmy Graham, and Justin Britt). After a very active free agent period, Schneider and Carroll methodically approached the draft with an eye for improving the current roster, but also leveraging potential losses in the future.

Draft selections:

2nd Round, 35th Overall: Defensive Tackle Malik McDowell, Michigan State

2nd Round, 58th Overall: Offensive Linemen Ethan Pocic, Louisiana State

3rd Round, 90th Overall: Cornerback Shaquill Griffin, Central Florida

3rd Round, 95th Overall: Strong Safety Delano Hill, Michigan

3rd Round, 102nd Overall: Defensive Tackle Nazair Jones, North Carolina

3rd Round, 106th Overall: Wide Receiver Amara Darboh, Michigan

4th Round, 111th Overall: Strong Safety Tedric Thompson, Colorado

6th Round, 187th Overall: Free Safety Mike Tyson, Cincinnati

6th Round, 210th Overall: Tackle Justin Senior, Mississippi State

7th Round, 226th Overall: Wide Receiver David Moore, East Central University (Oklahoma)

7th Round, 249th Overall: Running Back Chris Carson, Oklahoma State

Seattle Seahawks 2017 NFL Draft Review

Best Player:

Malik McDowell…at least, he will be. The Seahawks have been trying to find a legitimate interior pass rusher for several years. McDowell will be that player. McDowell comes to Seattle with questions about his work ethic, but it is important to remember he is only 20-years old. He will also have two great influences (defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril) to mentor him. If anyone can squeeze out his potential, it is Carroll. Adding McDowell to the mix with Bennett, Avril, and defensive end Frank Clark gives the Seahawks the flexibility to have a lot of pressure on the field on obvious passing downs. Through several trades, they moved back from #26 overall to #34 initially, and then to #35 to grab McDowell. The Seahawks considered cornerback and offensive line with his selection, but McDowell has the potential to be a special player in this defense.

Head-Scratcher:

Justin Senior. It isn’t a surprise the Seahawks selected a tackle; but waiting to Round 6 and then selecting Senior was a bit of an odd choice. He may not be the best fit for the Seahawks zone blocking scheme. Senior is an an extreme long shot to make the roster or even the practice squad, but late picks are risk/reward dart throws at best. 

The Surprise:

Mike Tyson, only because the Seahawks selected two other safeties in this draft. However, the Seahawks will look to convert Tyson to cornerback, specifically a slot cover guy. With Chancellor’s pending free agency, and the departure of free safeties Kelcie McCray and Steven Terrell, the need existed to start replenishing the stock.

The Steal:

Chris Carson. A bruising type of runner who did not fumble in his two seasons at Oklahoma State, he is the type of big back (6’0”, 218) that Carroll covets. Watching some of his tape reveals a little-bit of Marshawn Lynch in his game – with a wide gait and the desire to run over defenders. Carson will be in the mix to make the 53-man roster.

Most Likely to Turn Heads in Training Camp:

Perhaps wishful thinking, but Pocic will create some interesting decisions on the starting line entering the regular season. He did not allow a QB hit or a sack in his last 16 games at LSU. That is medicine desperately needed in the Pacific Northwest.

The Rest:

The Seahawks identified Shaquill Griffin as the top corner they wanted to add to the mix, and selected him in Round 3. They continued to add to the secondary with the picks of Delano Hill and Tedric Thompson, a rangy ball hawk. Thompson had seven interceptions and 23 passes defensed in his senior season. In Seattle, he gets to learn from one of the best in the game, Earl Thomas. They added beef in the middle of the defensive line in the form of Nazair Jones (6’5”, 304-pounds). Amara Darboh – a big, sure-handed, good blocking receiver – was drafted in Round 3. He has a chance to push for a roster spot right away. The other draft choice is David Moore from little known East Central University in Oklahoma, who at 6’1” and 219-pounds ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at his pro day in March.

Bottom Line:

It wasn’t splashy or sexy, but the Seahawks are getting back to addressing depth and finding some grinder-type players. They may look back at the multiple chances they had to draft other players earlier in the first few rounds (guard Forrest Lamp, tackle Cam Robinson, cornerback Kevin King, and safety Budda Baker) with some regret down the line. But, then again, this front office tends to buck the expected and go in different directions. Pocic and McDowell will likely make immediate impacts, with Griffin, Darboh, and Thompson not behind.

Seahawks 2017 Draft Grade: 8.0/10                                

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