NFL Draft 2017: Top 3 Offensive Tackles Who Could Become Seahawks
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks need offensive line help, but can they find it in the NFL draft?
The Seahawks have begun addressing their offensive line needs in the most elementary way this offseason. Seattle has let go two underperforming players in Garry Gilliam and Bradley Sowell. They may move starting guard Germain Ifedi to tackle. They signed Luke Joeckel and may trust that he can be good at left tackle. The Seahawks have not proven they can yet be solid in 2017 at tackle, though.
The problem is the 2017 draft does not have a superstar at the position. For instance, Walter Football ranks Cam Robinson as the number one tackle in this draft but states he may not be taken until late in the first round. All NFL teams need very good tackles and most teams are always in need of them. That Robinson is the best tackle available in 2017 and is not expected to go until late in the first round says a lot about what “experts” think of the quality at his position this year.
The Seahawks are clearly in need of quality all along the line (except at center where Justin Britt appears to have become an eight-year starter at his position). Here are the three best tackles in this year’s draft who could become Seahawks.
Robinson, University of Alabama
Robinson is potentially very good where the Seahawks would want him to be: run blocking. Seattle signed running back Eddie Lacy to be the guy on first and second down. The Seahawks have always been better when they run the ball first and let Russell Wilson do his stuff second. Seattle did not ever truly look comfortable last year when they started chucking the ball around more. Robinson was well-coached at Alabama and should know how to pass-block and run-block equally as well. But like Seattle, his physical attributes make him stronger when his team runs the ball.
The SEC is always full of pass rushing savants. Robinson was good enough to protect his quarterback on most plays. In a blowout versus Tennessee, though, Robinson got abused by Derek Barnett. Did Alabama win easily? Yep. Did Barnett look like the best player on the field even though his team lost? Again, yes. This is a bit worrisome for an NFL team wanting to take a tackle early. The NFL has quite a few Barnetts Robinson would face. (Author’s note: No offense to Barnett; that guy is a beast.)
Is Robinson expected to be Walter Jones? No. Is he potentially good enough to be a ten-year starter? Yes. And that should be good enough for Seattle.
Ryan Ramcyzk, University of Wisconsin
Ramcyzk is of the same ilk as Robinson. He can run-block well. Ramcyzk has the potential to be a very good pass blocker as well. He needs to gain strength, though that should not be a problem when part of an NFL player’s job is to lift weights a lot.
Ramcyzk has learned to move his feet well in pass blocking, but can be beat by stronger pass rushers. This does not bode well early in an NFL career. This is the reason Ramcyzk is not number one on this list, but number two. Robinson is the stronger human being of the two players at this point.
Ramcyzk might have done well to stay at Wisconsin one more year. He started off at a smaller college and was not involved in excellent weight training. With another year and coaching at Wisconsin, Ramcyzk would probably have been a top-15 pick.
Taylor Moton, University of Western Michigan
Moton is a large man. He is 6’5” and 330 pounds. He can pass block extremely well. The problem is that he is projected to be a right guard or right tackle in the NFL. If Ifedi moves to right tackle, the hole is left tackle in Seattle. Possibly Moton moves to Ifedi’s position at guard? Maybe Ifedi can play left tackle? While some teams may have a problem with these question marks, Seattle seems to relish them.
Still, Moton would not be a clear answer to the Seahawks need for instant quality. Seattle needs answers immediately in 2017 to get back to being a Super Bowl contender.