Scouting Seahawks: 2017 NFL Draft Watch List

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WR John Ross, Washington

TE Evan Engram, Mississippi

LB Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt 

CB Marquez White, Florida

LB Jarrad Davis, Florida

DT Jarrod “Chunky” Clements, Illinois

LB Azeem Victor, Washington

CB Kevin King, Washington

DT Caleb Brantley, Florida

DE/DT Derek Barnett, Tennessee

DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford

QB Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech

CB Brandon Facyson, Virginia Tech 

CB Des Lawrence, North Carolina 

As good as Seattle’s defensive line is, their Achilles heel may be the interior pass rush. Brantley has an elite first step and fantastic quickness. He doesn’t get noticed enough in the loaded Florida defense, but he’s an explosive defensive tackle that can get to the quarterback. Clements has the burst and athleticism to fill a Jordan Hill type role in Seattle. As evidenced by their free agent visits, Seattle is always looking for versatile defensive linemen, and Derek Barnett, Solomon Thomas, and DeMarcus Walker are athletic enough fill the “Michael Bennett” role in Seattle.

Obviously, the quarterback position isn’t a need, but if Seattle wanted to draft some insurance in case Russell Wilson goes down, Patrick Mahomes II is a mobile quarterback with the best physical traits of any QB in this class.

He’s a major project, but Seattle would allow him to develop behind Wilson before (hopefully never) throwing him into the fire. However, the NFL’s constant craving for good quarterbacks may push Mahomes into day two of the draft and out of Seattle’s reach.

One of the bigger storylines last offseason was how Seattle would fill the SAM linebacker spot vacated by Bruce Irvin. Mike Morgan emerged out of training camp as the starter. Instead of directly inserting him into Irvin’s role, they have used more nickel concepts to combat the NFL’s high octane offenses. This means that the position may not be a high priority come draft day, but there are some really good players available. Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham, Washington’s Azeem Victor, and Florida’s Jarrad Davis are three athletic, sideline to sideline linebackers that have a nose for the ball.  

More from 12th Man Rising

One of the great things about this 2017 draft is that it looks like Seattle will enter it with very few immediate needs. This could open the door for an offensive luxury pick or two early, especially with the poor offensive tackle class. Mississippi’s Evan Engram is a tight end in college, but his role in the NFL will probably be as a slot receiver that creates mismatches.

He’s a very similar player to Jordan Reed, although Engram is lighter and arguably more athletic. If Seattle wants to take their offense to the next level and add another mismatch opposite Jimmy Graham, look no further than Engram.

Most Seattle area fans are probably already familiar with Husky John Ross, but the 5’11 speedster could add a new element to an offense. Ross combines his reported 4.25 speed with fantastic route running abilities and great hands.

Ross’ ability to take the top off of a defense would obviously be beneficial to any offense. For it to work in Seattle though, Russell Wilson actually needs time to throw first.

This defensive back class is stacked, so I thought I should highlight a few later round options quickly. Facyson, King, Lawrence, and White are big, physical cornerbacks that fit Seattle’s ideal size profile. Of those, Facyson has great technique and could rise into day one of the draft. King is a freak athlete who oozes potential. It may take him a while to realize that potential, but King just feels like a Seahawks cornerback.