The Seattle Seahawks find themselves short on ammo going into the 2019 NFL draft. With just five picks, who can Seattle target to get them another Super Bowl championship?
When I wrote about the Seattle Seahawks potential offseason strategy, I saw a roster with fewer holes than I anticipated. They kept defensive end Frank Clark and brought in guard Mike Iupati off of a few down years in Arizona. Other than Iupati and kicker Jason Myers, they stayed in house by retaining several of their players. I like the idea of continuity, but upgrades still need to be made in a few areas.
Notable free agent signings: DE Frank Clark (franchise tag) l OG Mike Iupati l K Jason Myers
- 1st round, Pick 21
- 3rd round, Pick 84
- 4th round, Pick 124
- 5th round, Pick 159
Interior Offensive Line
Despite the signing of Mike Iupati, Seattle should still look to upgrade this position in the draft. They finished 30th in Pro Football Outsiders (PFO) adjusted sack rate, gave up the 8th most sacks (51) and had quarterback Russell Wilson get hit 94 times according to nfl.com. Improving the interior offensive line will be conducive to keeping the star QB healthy long term.
Frank Clark was not happy when he was hit with the franchise tag, going so far as to refuse to sign it and hold out of training camp until a long term deal could be reached. Regardless of what happens with Clark’s contract, Seattle has him for at least 16 games. Unless a pass rushing prospect slips into the latter part of round 1, the Seahawks don’t figure to have a chance to snag a top prospect at this position with their current draft standing.
Interior Defensive Line
The Seattle defensive line graded out near the bottom in all but one direction of run defense and finished 22nd overall in PFO’s adjusted line yards. A force in the middle would be beneficial, and one may fall to them come draft day.
I feel I am more optimistic about Seattle’s secondary than most, as I trust Pete Carroll to continue to develop this relatively young corps. However, if safety or corner is addressed early in the draft, it would not surprise me.
Tight End/Wide Receiver
An additional pass catcher for Wilson would be welcome but should be put on the back burner in favor of interior offensive line help.
With all that said, here is a mock draft for Seattle using The Draft Network’s mock draft machine.
Round 1, Pick 21: Chris Lindstrom, IOL, Boston College
Given their lack of draft capital, a trade out of the first round would be ideal. If they stand pat, I think offensive line should be the priority with this selection.
As a junior, Lindstrom earned second-team All-ACC honors starting at both right guard and right tackle. In 2018 his play earned him Associated Press third-team All-American and first-team All-ACC honors. He has the football IQ and athleticism to become an instant starter and potential long term fixture at guard or center in the National Football League.
Round 3, Pick 84: Khalen Saunders, IDL, Western Illinois
Saunders has the physical upside you want in a defensive tackle but lacks the technique at this stage in his development. He has dominated the lesser competition at Western Illinois, but a good showing at the Senior Bowl makes scouts believe he can continue that on Sundays.
Round 4, Pick 124: Joe Jackson, Defensive End, Miami
Jackson possesses all of the physical gifts you would want to gamble on in the later rounds. He earned honorable All-ACC mentions as a junior, recording 9 sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss. His shortcomings can be coached up. As one unnamed AFC personnel director (via NFL.com) claims:
“You draft big, strong guys and then you let the coaches bring the rest of it out. He’s the physical prototype and he’s going to get a lot better as a rusher. I love the upside.”
Round 5, Pick 159: Wyatt Ray, Defensive End, Boston College
The Seahawks take another stab at the defensive line and draft Lindstrom’s teammate Wyatt Ray. He earned third-team All-ACC honors in 2018 by recording 9 sacks and 11.5 tackles for a loss. Ray has the potential to be a pass rush specialist if he can catch up to the speed of the game.
I like this haul for Seattle. My guess would be most mocks have them taking a defensive back at some point, but again, I trust Pete Carrol to continue to develop the young guys he has in place. I got to address their biggest need in round 1 and then fired the rest of my “bullets” at improving the defensive line.
If I had to bet money I would put it on Seattle trading out of round one. If they can not accomplish that, I wouldn’t be upset if this is the haul they end up with.