Expert Analysis


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On the Clock: Seattle Seahawks

What started off as a promising 2020 season that saw the Seattle Seahawks win their first five games and eventually the NFC West once again ended in disappointment. The Seahawks were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by the Los Angeles Rams. Following that tough loss, the offseason began with rumors surrounding the relationship between head coach Pete Carroll and star quarterback Russell Wilson. Despite Wilson’s agent releasing a list of teams the quarterback would be willing to be traded to, it seems unlikely Seattle will move him. This draft could go a long way in helping to mend the relationship between Wilson and the organization. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, they don’t have a first-round pick. Seattle will be starting the draft at pick 56.

Here is some quick history. The following is a list of the Seahawks’ past five first-round draft picks:

  • 2020: Jordyn Brooks (LB)
  • 2019: L.J. Collier (DE)
  • 2018: Rashaad Penny (RB)
  • 2017: None (traded down twice, eventually into the second round)
  • 2016: Germain Ifedi (G/OT)

Since 2010, Seahawks have traded back on numerous occasions and didn’t make a first-round selection in four separate drafts.

As it stands, the Seahawks currently rank 20th in the NFL in cap space with about $4.58 million. Here is a list of some players who could potentially be on the move due to their cap hits (age in parentheses):

  • Carlos Dunlap (32)
  • Quandre Diggs (28)
  • Jarran Reed (28)
  • Brandon Shell (29)
  • Duane Brown (35)

John Schneider and the Seahawks have been very aggressive in trading their selections and going with unconventional players that fit their scheme in the past. Will the Seahawks follow a similar strategy in this year’s draft? Here are four players the Seahawks could select with the 56th pick:

Possibility #1: Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins

Career: 37 games played, 28 games started

Why: If the Seahawks end up hanging on to veteran Duane Brown, Jenkins could very well be the pick here in order to plug a hole at right tackle. Jenkins is a big-bodied tackle who has excellent hand quickness and play strength. Blocking for one of the better offenses in the Big 12, Jenkins could certainly be a player to watch out for in this area of the draft. He fits best in an offense that runs a lot of vertical sets, and Seattle did quite a bit of that last season with its high-octane offense.

The offensive line needs to be a priority for the Seahawks as that unit has struggled immensely in the past decade. Sure, Seattle had a solid run blocking line for a while, but even that aspect of the line hasn’t been great in recent memory. In order to keep Wilson happy, the Seahawks need to do a better job of protecting him; their offensive line gave up 48 sacks in 2020 (fifth-most in the NFL). Liam Eichenberg is another player who the Seahawks could take, as well, if they decide to part ways with Duane Brown.

Possibility #2: Oklahoma C Creed Humphrey

Career: 39 games played, 37 games started

Why: Offensive tackle isn’t the only position on the offensive line that Seattle needs help with. Last season, the Seahawks used former guard Ethan Pocic at center after they released longtime starter Justin Britt. At center, Pocic had an inconsistent season, culminating in a PFF grade of 62.4. With Pocic potentially not being the long-term solution at center, the Seahawks could look to fill that hole with a newcomer at 56th overall. Enter Creed Humphrey.

Humphrey had a great career at Oklahoma, culminating in a 2020 season in which he did not allow a single sack on 401 pass plays, according to PFF. If the Seahawks decide to take Humphrey, they can slide Pocic back to guard, where he is more naturally suited. Furthermore, Humphrey’s strength and flexibility make him an intriguing player for Seattle to take here. Don’t be surprised if the Seahawks also consider taking Kentucky C Drake Jackson or Alabama C Landon Dickerson here as well.

Possibility #3: Houston DE Payton Turner

2020 stats: 5 games, 25 tackles, 17 solo, 10.5 TFLs, 5.0 sacks, 1 FF, 1 BLK

Why: The Seahawks have shown a propensity for taking a risk on players in the draft. Payton Turner could be another player in this category. There is a lot of intrigue with Turner, especially after how he played at the Senior Bowl, due to his athletic frame and explosiveness for his size. When Turner first arrived in Houston, he was only 217 pounds. By 2020, Turner was 270, and he still has a lot of room to grow. He is certainly somebody who could develop and become a star in Ken Norton Jr.’s defense.

Seattle had an uncharacteristic year on defense, especially from a pass rush perspective. Despite finishing in the top-seven in sacks for 2020, Seattle’s sack leader was safety Jamal Adams with 9.5 sacks. On the defensive line, it was Jarran Reed with 6.5. This area has to get better.

Possibility #4: Washington CB Elijah Molden

2020 stats: 4 games, 26 tackles, 21 solo, 1.0 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PDs

Why: The Seattle Seahawks lacked toughness out of their corners for the majority of the 2020 season. They had tried to remedy this issue prior to the season by trading for former Washington Football Team corner Quinton Dunbar, but he had a very inconsistent year. Despite the fact that Seattle’s pass defense did get better as the year went on, the Seahawks still managed to give up the second-most passing yards per game in the entire league at 285.0. When the Seahawks’ offense stopped scoring so many points, it became abundantly clear that they couldn’t get away with a poor secondary any longer.

Elijah Molden won’t be able to play on the outside for Seattle due to a lack of speed, but he is certainly somebody who can inject energy into the nickel cornerback position. He is a hard-nosed player who, despite only being 5-10, is a fearless player. He impacts passing windows immensely, and he is a player who is not afraid to get his hands dirty. This is certainly a player who fits what Seattle has always wanted out of its secondary.

SEE ALSO: On the Clock archive

Sources: Over The Cap, Pro-Football-Reference, Pro Football Focus