The Seahawks don’t have many needs left on their roster, but they do still need a defensive tackle. Starter Alan Branch left in free agency and hasn’t yet been adequately been replaced. There are bodies as the position on the roster, but none have shown they can be productive enough to deserve consistent playing time.
At this point, the only real means to find a suitable player will be to draft one with their first 3 picks. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of players I think would be good fits for Seattle’s defensive scheme.
Johnathan Hankins – One of my favorite DTs in this draft class. I doubt Hankins makes it out of the 30’s, so there’s little chance that he’s there at 56 for the Seahawks. I put him on this list because he dropped to me in a recent mock draft. It seems that some teams are looking past Hankins for reasons I don’t understand. Hankins has great explosiveness and strength. He could play at 1, 3, and 5 techniques spots in Seattle’s defense.
Kewann Short – Short is a player who I’ve like for the Seahawks for some time now. Like Hankins, I doubt he’s there for Seattle, but If he falls he’d be too good to pass up. Short is a perfect 3-tech DT for the Seahawks. He’s a great run defender who anchors well, even against double teams. He’s strong enough to push the guard back into the pocket to disrupt the QB and collapse the pocket.
Jesse Williams – Williams is the 2nd round DT most likely to drop to the Seahawks. He’s a 1 dimensional run defender in the mold of Red Bryant. He is tremendously strong, and is impossible to move, even with a double team. As with Alan Branch last year, Williams would have to come off the field in passing situations. Williams could play the 3-tech in 2013, but would also offer a low cost alternative to Brandon Mebane in 2014 and beyond if the team ends up needing the extra cap space to re-sign their young stars.
Akeem Spence - Spense is very similar to Short, but without the ability to get to the QB with regularity. Spence is strictly a run defender, and would offer a direct replacement to Alan Branch in the rotation. Spence has the ability to develop into a more complete player than he is right now, but I don’t expect he’ll ever be able to consistently provide inside pressure. I expect him to be a great run defender, and nothing more.
Montori Hughes – A small school player with high upside. Explosive first step should allow him to be disruptive in the backfield. Strong enough to anchor against the run in both 1 gap and 2 gap schemes. Needs to improve technique, he relies too much on his physical talents at this point, which wont work at the next level.
Jordan Hill – Hill is the opposite of Akeem Spence. He uses his explosive first step to knife into the gap. Can be disruptive and is good at getting to the QB. Lacks the strength to anchor against the run, and was driven backwards by the best OG he played against in college. Lacks the athletic measurables to suggest he’ll ever improve as a run defender.