Seahawks Senior Bowl mock draft

What might Seattle’s draft look like if they only chose Senior Bowl participants? We present HawkTalk’s 2018 Seahawks Senior Bowl mock draft.

There are a few rules and assumptions built into this Seahawks-only mock draft. As the intro implies, Seattle’s picks are limited to players who competed in the Senior Bowl. I haven’t included any potential trades of veteran players such as Earl Thomas or Michael Bennett. However, I’ve assumed GM John Schneider will aggressively trade picks to focus on the draft’s second day.

The Seahawks don’t currently have any picks in the 2nd or 3rd round, thanks to trades for Sheldon Richardson and Duane Brown. While acquiring a blue-chip prospect at 18th overall would be great, it’s not a guarantee by any means. Schneider’s traded down or out of the first round for five straight years, and it’s widely assumed he’ll do so again. With numerous holes on the roster, it makes sense for Seattle to trade down and acquire more early-impact prospects.

I believe Seattle currently owns the following selections: 18, 116, 132, 137, 160, 200, 209, 222, 223. That’s a 1st, a 4th, three 5th’s, and four 7th’s. Keep in mind that all picks past the third round will be lowered once compensatory choices are awarded. The Seahawks have no chance of receiving any additional comp picks in 2018.

Schneider also hasn’t been afraid to move up in the middle rounds as well (see Tyler Lockett, Quinton Jefferson) and I can see that happening again this year. Here are the trades built into this 2018 Seahawks Senior Bowl mock draft:

  • Jacksonville trades #29 and #61 to Seattle for #18 and #160*.
  • Cleveland trades #35 and #97* to Seattle for #29.
  • Atlanta trades #90* to Seattle for #97*, #132* and #200*.

Final tally: 35, 61, 90, 116*, 137*, 209*, 222*, 223*.

The asterisks are for draft picks that will slightly drop once compensation selections are announced. In this scenario, the Jaguars move up ahead of Buffalo’s two consecutive 1st round picks to draft a QB. Additionally, the Seahawks trade with the Browns and Falcons to finish with three Day-2 draft picks. Each trade is realistic from a value perspective.

Without further ado, here is the Seahawks Senior Bowl Mock Draft:

Seahawks Senior Bowl mock draft

Round 2, Pick 35 – Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE/LB

Seattle has more pressing needs (as of now) than edge rusher or linebacker, but what about a prospect who can fill both roles? Okoronkwo can do just that, as he’s cut from the same cloth as former Seahawk Bruce Irvin.  

Okoronkwo is an impact run defender from the linebacker position. Despite his height (6’1.5”), “Obo” sets the edge with power using tremendous length (34.5” arms). He’s both explosive and slippery, frequently splashing in the backfield for big plays against the run:

He’s also fared well in coverage throughout his career in Oklahoma. The Sooners mostly kept him on the line-of-scrimmage this season, but dropped Okoronkwo into coverage on 237 snaps in 2016 (per PFF). He isn’t the most natural coverage defender, but he has solid instincts in short zones and can check RB’s in space. Put another way, he is more experienced and capable in coverage than Irvin was coming out of West Virginia:

Enough of this linebacker talk though; Okoronkwo’s true value is as a dynamite pass rusher. There’s something about his unique leverage (short stature, freaky length & bend) that makes him a nightmare for offensive tackles. It helps that he’s a twitched-up athlete with elite short-area burst, quickness and stability through contact. He fires off the ball with juice and violent hands, and flashes outstanding footwork & rush technique:

Here is an example of his ridiculously twitchy, sudden & explosive athleticism, all in one rush:

Okoronkwo recorded 75 tackles, 17 for loss and 8 sacks in 2017, a year after recording 71, 12 and 9 (respectively). He was arguably the most dominant defensive prospect during Senior Bowl week, topping it off with two sacks and a forced fumble in the big game:

Obo could very well find himself in the 1st round this spring, but he continues to be severely underrated due to his size. He doesn’t profile as a full-time 4-3 DE, but creative teams who make a living in nickel defenses will find value in his skill-set. Seattle did exactly that with Irvin, and Okoronkwo might be a better prospect than both him and Haason Reddick.

Round 2, Pick 61 – Rashaad Penny, RB

It’s no secret that the Seahawks will prioritize the run-game this offseason, specifically by adding talent at the RB position. Enter Rashaad Penny. The San Diego State back rushed for an astronomical 2248 yards (7.8 ypc) as a senior, and scored 28 total touchdowns. He garnered Heisman consideration for his magnificent season, proving to be a big-play weapon with his size, speed and agility.

Penny didn’t stand out in Senior Bowl practices like scouts were hoping for, but he showed his explosive ability during the game:

At 5’11, 224 lbs, Penny fits the size profile that Seattle has repeatedly invested in at the RB position. Despite the excellent size and physical tools, he isn’t a powerful, between-the-tackles grinder. He doesn’t shy away from contact by any means, but wins primarily because he’s smooth, elusive, and highly athletic:

Penny checks the size & athleticism boxes that Pete Carroll looks for in an RB, and Seattle may view him as a great complement to Chris Carson’s power element in the backfield. Thunder and Lightning. Penny could fall to the third round in a talented running back class, but he’s well worth a pick in the 2nd for an RB-needy team.

Round 3, Pick 90 – Wyatt Teller, OG

Teller is a relative unknown in a strong interior offensive line class, but is perhaps my favourite pick in this mock draft. The Seahawks have a gaping hole at one starting offensive line position, and Teller is the type of high floor, high upside OL prospect who can fill it from day one.

The Virginia Tech left guard checks every box you look for – size, power, explosion, mobility, balance, fundamentals, and nastiness. He’s a fleet-footed blocker who punishes defenders, consistently finishing to the whistle with bad intentions:

Teller is a well-rounded offensive lineman who can fit within any scheme. He shoots his hands with a strong & accurate punch, sustaining control with functional core strength and a stable base. However, he’s at his best blocking in space, where his explosive athleticism really shines:

Teller was better run-blocking than he was in pass protection during Senior Bowl week, but his pass sets are rock-solid on tape. He always plays with proper leverage, quick feet and active hands, maintaining stability through contact:

I’ve seen Teller graded anywhere from round 3 to the late rounds, though I think he’ll warrant a 2nd round pick on draft day. He should rise with a strong combine performance, which will add momentum after a strong Senior Bowl week. Adding both Penny and Teller would significantly boost Seattle’s run game, while leaving their first pick available to add premium young talent on defense.

Round 4, Pick 116* – Jaleel Scott, WR

There’s a good chance that Paul Richardson departs in free agency this offseason, and Jimmy Graham appears to be as good as gone. That’s Seattle’s only real downfield vertical threat from last season, and the team’s top red zone threat (by far). It won’t be easy to replace their production this offseason, which will certainly require both free agency and the draft. Jaleel Scott is an intriguing WR who can help to fill both functions:

Scott is 6’5”, 216 lbs with 34” arms and explosive leaping ability. He contorts his body in the air with superb control to come down with the football in contested situations:

I mean… that’s flat-out ridiculous. His catch radius is gigantic, allowing him to high point and win over cornerbacks (and even double-teams) down the field:

Scott had 76 catches this year for 1079 yards and 9 touchdowns as a senior. Not bad production, but he really did some damage deep down the field. According to PFF, he had 541 receiving yards on deep passes targeted 20+ yards down the field, and 19 such receptions in 2017. Those numbers are good for 7th and T-1st among FBS wide receivers.

Scott doesn’t stand out in his ability to run routes or separate, and his hands are better when he has time to adjust downfield. However, he seems like a decent athlete with technique to work with in and out of his breaks:

Scott didn’t do enough at the Senior Bowl to distinguish himself as a Day-2 prospect, as he didn’t get the opportunity to show off his downfield chops. However, that helps the Seahawks land him in the 4th round in this scenario. Seattle long searched for a big-bodied receiver to provide a unique threat in their offense (see Chris Matthews, Kris Durham). Scott could be a fantastic fit at a discounted price on draft day.

Round 5, Pick 137* – Isaac Yiadom, CB

I hadn’t evaluated Yiadom before the Senior Bowl, but he stood out during the event as the Seahawks’ type at cornerback:

Yiadom showed very clear strengths and weaknesses at the Senior Bowl. Interestingly, those strengths translate perfectly to Seattle’s single high press coverage scheme. Yiadom is a tall & long corner (6’1, 32+ inch arms) who excels at pressing off the line. He also consistently closed off the sideline on vertical routes, and possesses some serious wheels down the field. The issue was in the intermediate areas of the field, particularly on in-breaking routes. Yiadom isn’t incredibly fluid changing direction, but there is a lot to work with here. If Seattle is looking for another project CB on Day-3 to mold, he’ll be a prime target.

Here are a couple examples from Senior Bowl practices to illustrate his downfield coverage ability. He’s a bit jumpy off the line in his press and doesn’t get a hand on the WR’s in these instances (which isn’t an issue in the limited tape I’ve seen by now). However, he recovers patiently with great speed to get hip-to-hip, and gets his head around to make plays on the ball:

Here’s he is showing some suddenness to stay sticky on a comeback route, another important skill for Cover-3 press CB’s:

Yiadom looks like a Seahawks corner all day long. It’s a bit of a mystery right now as to what Seattle’s CB room will look like heading into the draft. If they need developmental depth in the mid/late rounds, Yiadom could be their guy. I’ve seen him ranked in the mid-late rounds after a heralded Senior Bowl week, but he could ultimately rise out of this range (5th round) on draft day.

Mock Draft Results

That’s it for now, as I haven’t gone dug deep enough in this draft class yet to project 7th round picks with any confidence. The takeaway for me from this exercise was that Seattle will have a lot of great options on draft day, despite the missing Day-2 picks. Schneider has the ammunition he needs to move into his spots throughout the draft, and there is value to be had at positions of need this year (RB, OG, EDGE). I would be thrilled with this draft class, even though we’ve excluded non-Senior Bowl players:

Round 2, Pick 35 – Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE/LB

Round 2, Pick 61 – Rashaad Penny, RB

Round 3, Pick 90 – Wyatt Teller, OG

Round 4, Pick 116* – Jaleel Scott, WR

Round 5, Pick 137* – Isaac Yiadom, CB