Seattle Seahawks: Harvin Trade Shifts Draft Strategy
For the first obvious statement, let’s go with the suggestion that the Seahawks are not going to be looking to draft a wide receiver in the early rounds of the NFL draft. Percy Harvin is in the house with his rich new contract and Seattle’s first-round pick is now in the hands of the Minnesota Vikings.
Though the acquisition of Harvin is exciting news, it does present a number of questions, as astutely analyzed by Thomas Holmes of Bleacher Report. One has to assume that Pete Carroll and John Schneider have been factoring this possibility into their draft strategy, but now that the deal is done, Seattle will be faced with picking players a little differently.
Perhaps the Seahawks take a receiver in the later rounds as a project, but there are other needs that need to be addressed. That first-round pick was arguably going to be just outside the range needed to land a marquee defensive tackle, but it was still a valuable draft commodity.
So, what will the Seahawks do in the second and third rounds to address needs at defensive tackle, defensive end and outside linebacker? By that time, the big name guys will be long gone and it will be time for Carroll and Schneider to work their magic and find a diamond in the rough.
Then again, maybe there will be a strategy that will be hard for anyone to predict. It has happened before.
What position will the Seahawks address with their second-round pick?
Prior to the Harvin trade, one predictor at WalterFootball.com had the Seahawks taking tight end Zach Ertz in the second round. One assumes that this projection will soon be updated with a different selection. That would be an interesting pick, but it doesn’t seem to be the highest priority for the Seahawks, and it is questionable that Ertz will still be available at that point.
Another list has the Seahawks selecting the intriguing Margus Hunt from SMU, who generated quite a buzz at the NFL combine with his unique physical tools. He seems like another player who would not necessarily be available in the second round.
If Seattle sticks with the plan of drafting a defensive tackle, they may need to hope that a player of their liking drops down the board. Defensive tackles such as Jesse Williams of Alabama, Bennie Logan from LSU and Brandon Williams from Missouri Southern could be possibilities if they are still around.
Then there is Datone Jones, who was rumored (via Seahawks.com) to be on Seattle’s radar before the Harvin deal was completed. Conventional wisdom suggests that he won’t be available at the 56th pick, but stranger things have happened. Several mock drafts, including one from NFL.com, have Jones going in the first round.
There is the possibility that Seattle will not be able to fill their defensive tackle needs with their second or third-round picks. In that case, they may need to think seriously about re-signing Alan Branch and possibly bringing in another veteran defensive tackle like Richard Seymour. Clinton McDonald was tendered by the Seahawks, which could at least address depth on the defensive line.
Perhaps Seattle will go with a project defensive tackle as insurance against Chris Clemons returning at full strength. Or, an athletic outside linebacker might be a good player to grab in the early rounds. There is always the possibility that Seattle will address the defensive end position by signing someone like veteran John Abraham.
Life is never dull in the NFL offseason. Free agency is in full swing. The draft is coming up soon.
The Seahawks will have some decisions to make.
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