Could the Seahawks surprise and take Keenan Allen in the first round?
The Seattle Seahawks have some decisions to make as the 2013 NFL draft approaches.
Soon it will be time for the NFL combine, and athletes will be running, jumping and participating in all kinds of interesting drills. Executives must then decide if physical ability will translate to actual success on the football field.
Over the last few years, Pete Carroll and John Schneider have shown that they have keen eyes for collegiate talent, and it has paid off on the field as the Seahawks are poised for a Super Bowl run in 2013.
Can the magic continue as Seattle picks new players in April?
Here is a round-by-round analysis of who the Seahawks should select in the 2013 NFL draft.
The numbers: 6’5”, 274 pounds
Need addressed: Ansah would provide Seattle with a player on the edge that could be the heir-apparent for Chris Clemons or a more consistent threat than Bruce Irvin.
Why this player: Ezekieh is athletic, physical and could fit Seattle’s system very well. Ansah made a great showing at the Senior Bowl and he may have that elusive “upside.” Of course, he may not be there at the 25th pick.
Something to consider: The Seahawks may need a defensive tackle more than they need a defensive end, but if Ansah is available, he could be one of those special athletes that is hard to pass up.
The numbers: 6’3”, 320 pounds
Need addressed: The Seahawks need some help on the defensive line, either from a depth standpoint or as a replacement for Alan Branch if he does not return to Seattle. Specifically, Seattle needs help putting interior pressure on the quarterback, which is an area that was not stellar in the second half of the season.
Why this player: Williams is a big body that has the speed and power to get at the quarterback. There are some questions about Sylvester simply because he did not necessarily get better as the college season progressed in 2012. Still, Sylvester has the size and ability to play on an NFL defensive line.
Something to consider: You can obviously say this about any draft pick, but it will be interesting to see if Sylvester is available in the second round. Sylvester’s name can be found in a variety of spots and rounds depending on the mock draft.
The numbers: 6’1”, 180 pounds
Need addressed: There is much debate about the quality and future of Seattle’s receiving corps, but at minimum, the Seahawks could use some depth at the wide receiver position. Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are a solid trio, but a field-stretching fourth wideout would give Russell Wilson more options.
Why this player: Robert Woods did not have an overwhelming senior season, but he is the type of speedster that can keep secondaries honest in the NFL. He is not the tallest receiver nor the most physical, but he is a talented athlete that will draw interest from a lot of teams.
Something to consider: If Woods drops, it may be because of injury concerns since he had issues in 2012. Seattle may want a taller receiver that can get up and pull down the jump ball.
The numbers: 6’2”, 229 pounds
Need addressed: Assuming that Leroy Hill does not return to Seattle, the Seahawks will need an outside linebacker. Perhaps Malcolm Smith will fill the role, but this would also be a good opportunity to pick up a starter or a backup. Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright have been great additions to the team and the Seahawks will look to find another impact linebacker in the 2013 draft.
Why this player: Moore looked very good at the Senior Bowl; he displayed solid speed and instincts. He might benefit from a bit more bulk, but he is also projected to be a player that might develop into a quality starter.
Something to consider: There will be a number of linebacker prospects that will likely be available in the third, fourth and fifth rounds. Seattle will probably be able to pick up a good athlete that will fit well into their defensive scheme.
The numbers: 6’7”, 258 pounds (Fauria) / 6’4”, 185 pounds (Wilson)
Needs addressed: Zach Miller and Russell Wilson developed a great relationship throughout the year, but it would be good for Seattle to develop another threat at tight end. In addition, there would be value in drafting another athletic receiver, particularly one with a bit more height.
Why these players: Joseph Fauria is a big body that could represent another red-zone weapon for Russell Wilson. Wilson is a lean receiver, but he has the kind of height and leaping ability that Pete Carroll has liked in the past. Neither is a “can’t miss” prospec,t but they appear to have solid physical tools.
Some things to consider: Management will need to decide if another tight end is a priority at this point or if Wilson’s awkward departure from Washington State University represents a personality concern.
The numbers: 6’1”, 341 pounds
Need addressed: Given the potential needs on the defensive line, there is wisdom in drafting more than one player that could have an impact and enhance the talented Seattle defense.
Why this player: Williams comes from a small school, which means that he did not necessarily face competition from marquee programs. However, Williams is a big body that could be a stout interior lineman. He has been a consistent pass-rusher and he performed well at the Senior Bowl.
Something to consider: When you start getting into the later rounds, there is always a question of whether a fresh draft pick out of college is going to be an upgrade over current backup players that already have a few years of experience in the NFL.
The numbers: 6’1”, 193 pounds (Robinson), 6’2”, 190 pounds (Hopkins), 6’4”, 310 pounds (Foltz)
Needs addressed: The seventh round gets into the category of “projects.” These three picks represent a backup quarterback that might play a different position in the NFL—a kicker if Steven Hauschka is not re-signed and an offensive lineman that could provide a level of depth.
Why these players: Denard Robinson is an intriguing athlete that may play special teams or defense at the pro level. Dustin Hopkins is one of the better college kickers in the nation. Blaize Foltz is a solid guard that has NFL size and could be a good value pick.
Some things to consider: Robinson may be an intriguing athlete, but he may be a man without a position. The Seahawks could probably get a kicker without drafting one. Seattle may or may not want to add another offensive lineman to the mix unless they feel there is a glaring need to upgrade.
Note also that the Seahawks will reportedly get two more compensatory picks, so they will have the flexibility to select more players or trade those picks for future considerations.