Pick #26 — Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have an obvious area of need, and while other spots on the roster are not infallible, there can really be only one choice for where this team needs to look.
It isn’t as exciting as a new player at a skill position, or a potential star somewhere on the defense, but this team cannot keep ignoring their offensive line.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a poorly constructed unit. The offensive line coach deserves multiple raises and a binding agreement for stock in the team or something, because this unit has been patchwork at best during the life of their contention years, but he keeps them doing just enough to allow Russell Wilson to pull plays and games out of thin air while guys like Marshawn Lynch run through 1,000 pounds of oncoming defenders as if they were made of water.
Obviously you can’t pay everybody, and somewhere along the way there will be spots that end up being undervalued in terms of money allocation. This seems like a concerted effort however; you cannot have this bad of a group without willfully deciding you don’t need to invest at least a little bit of resources towards it.
Right now I’m looking at the rating by Pro Football Focus, and I may now have acquired the same lacerated kidney that ended Andrew Luck’s season. Of their 10 players at any line position currently on the roster, the best rating (on a scale of 0-100) is 67.0; that came from a guy who played only 33 snaps. Of guys who played at least 100 snaps (5), the highest rating is 53.5. And remember too, they let their left tackle Russell Okung (the only competent OL player Russell Wilson has had in his NFL career) leave in free agency too.
They HAVE to add talent there in this draft. Honestly, they may want to consider going all OL; that’s 4-5 immediate new starters right there!
Good news for Wilson: the situation they are staring at in terms of who is left at #26 may be enough to force their hand whether they like it or not. there just isn’t much left to pick from in terms of what they need and who they might want.
Besides the OL players, we have:
- Rankins — their defensive line is still stacked; this would be like how the Colts drafted a WR last season despite having a glut of guys there already, but in this case the guys already there are actually a much better group
- Hunter Henry — the team already spent big to bring in Jimmy Graham last season, and then proved that middling options work just as well; no reason for them to invest any actual value to a position they don’t value
- Billings — same problem as Rankins, with the added fact that he isn’t suited for their kind of scheme
- Butler — see Billings
- Emmanuel Ogbah — see Rankins
- Derrick Henry — too high for a runner not named Ezekiel, plus they have proven guys like Thomas Rawls suit them just fine (on the field and in their checkbooks
- Mackenzie Alexander — Seattle doesn’t spend high on corners, plus are likely fine with what they have as it is
- Will Fuller — the team doesn’t value receivers all that much, and already will get everything they want out of Doug Baldwin/Tyler Lockett/Jermaine Kearse anyway
You get the theme: nothing else fits.
The only question should be which position do they invest in first.
The best player remaining of the OL is either Jack Conklin (T) or Cody Whitehair (G), but the Seahawks could go with a guy just under them who they may feel fits their scheme and has better long-term upside in Clark.
Length, strength, and quickness portend to a high floor for his potential, and his ceiling has been talked about as having him possibly become a top-5 tackle in the league.
That would be great for any team, but it could make an even larger on a unit so lacking in even subpar talents. A stalwart piece for years to come, one to begin building that unit into something that at least tries to not be an embarrassment for once.