According to many, including myself, the Seattle Seahawks opened the season as dark horse favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. On the surface, it made too much sense — they have one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in football, tantalizing young talent, a front office known for finding value late in the draft, and a head coach with a history of winning. Ultimately, they came up short in Green Bay, but they have a similar upside next year. Let’s take a look at three potential Seahawks first-round prospects that would best complement what figures to be a team with Super Bowl aspirations in 2020.
K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
The back end of the Seattle defense is a far cry from the Legion of Boom that took the NFL by storm nearly a decade ago. In the divisional round battle with Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers continuously found success pushing the ball down the field and finding the open man. Even more alarming was that he had ample time to do so. Though the team invested minor draft capital for edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney prior to the season, the 26-year old is expected to cash in on a lucrative free-agent deal, one that Seattle will likely be hard-pressed to match.
Enter LSU edge defender K’Lavon Chaisson.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound outside linebacker compiled 6.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss in 2019. Chaisson is a tremendously instinctive pass rusher with violent hands and a terrific bend around the corner. The LSU standout is armed with a vast array of pass rush moves, and his long arms allow him to effectively shed would-be blockers en route to the quarterback. Though he has just two years of college football under his belt, there is a remarkable polish to Chaisson’s game.
Chaisson earned second-team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press (first-team coaches’ vote) and was named a permanent team captain in 2019. Chaisson could go as early as the middle of the first round with a strong NFL Combine performance, but it’s likely he falls to the back end of Day 1. In an attempt to fix two defensive concerns — an inconsistent secondary and the potential loss of Clowney — Chaisson should be Seattle’s top choice.
Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
If for some reason Chaisson isn’t there when the Seahawks pick at 27 — or he’s not on their draft board — another solid option to boost their pass rush would be Boise State edge rusher Curtis Weaver.
At 6-foot-3, 265 pounds, Weaver has the build to be a 4-3 defensive end or an outside linebacker. The redshirt junior amassed 13.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss in 2019, putting him at an astounding 34.0 sacks and 47.5 tackles for loss through three seasons. While Chaisson has the leaner, longer build, Weaver boasts a thicker build with a bit more power to his game. Weaver isn’t the most athletic edge rusher in the 2020 NFL Draft, but he plays with great leverage, demonstrates efficient hand usage, and has a relentless motor. He was an incredibly productive player for the Broncos, who has emerged as a late first-round talent.
Along with being a finalist for the prestigious Bednarik Award, Weaver earned 2019 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors for his standout campaign.
Tyler Biadasz, OC, Wisconsin
Though it was recently reported that Seahawks center Joey Hunt played through a dislocated finger and a stress fracture in his fibula this season, the fact is the undersized lineman wasn’t good enough in his eight starts. The 6-foot-2, 295-pound center was consistently overmatched by the opposition, often forcing Russell Wilson off his spot upon getting the snap. Week 1 starter Justin Britt was lost for the season with a serious knee injury on October 29 against the Texans, and his estimated return time table is currently unknown.
The Seahawks could effectively remedy the need along the interior by selecting Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz. Along with boasting the versatility to play guard, Biadasz is a road-grading mauler in the interior, who plays with a mean streak. He has outstanding footwork and the lateral agility to get out on screens and running plays.
Biadasz was the 2019 Rimington Trophy winner, a unanimous first-team All American, consensus first-team All-Big Ten honoree, and a finalist for the Outland Trophy. I have Biadasz slotted as a late first-round selection, so he could very well be there for the taking when Seattle is on the clock.