Seattle Seahawks Draft Countdown: Making the Case for David Yankey

Dilan AmesCorrespondent IApril 28, 2014

Stanford guard David Yankey during an NCAA college football game against UCLA  on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez

The Seattle Seahawks have seen tremendous growth in Russell Wilson throughout his two years in the league, but that growth will be stunted if he doesn't get the protection he needs. Seattle's O-line is solid but needs an upgrade at guard and right tackle.

There's a laundry list of names they could choose from, but David Yankey is one prospect they must take a long, hard look at. The Stanford product had a marvelous collegiate career as both a guard and tackle—he is one of the most versatile and dominating guards in this draft class.

At 6'6" and 315 pounds, Yankey is a mauling blocker who utilizes his sheer size and strength to move opposing pass-rushers. He also is quite intelligent as a lineman and has great awareness, as well as strong hands.

Yankey would be coming into an extremely beneficial situation in Seattle, as he'd be coached and developed by Tom Cable, who's one of the most respected offensive line coaches in the NFL.

Cable has shuffled makeshift interior linemen over the past couple of seasons, but that just isn't going to cut it anymore. There were times last year when the opposing defense would already be in the backfield before the play had a chance to develop, a clear indication that help is needed.

Yankey has the size and physicality that is needed to succeed in run-blocking and pass protection, making him an ideal fit for Seattle, whose playbook is a mixed bag of runs and passes. He would also be especially helpful in the running game as a pull-blocker, something he is well-versed in from his days as a Cardinal.

Although he had an iffy combine performance, Yankey does possess an athletic side, which is what allowed him to be as effective as he was in college.

For all the positives, Yankey does have some flaws. He gets a bit stiff at times and doesn't have great recovery ability when he gets beat off the ball. Despite the clear issues those will present in the league, they are both things that can, and more than likely will, get corrected if Yankey is drafted by Seattle. If anyone can bring out the best in him, it's Cable.

This is a clear case of value meets need—the Seahawks need a dependable lineman, and there's a strong chance Yankey is there for them at 32nd overall.