Seahawks mock draft: Best options at linebacker

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 09: Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 09: Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks have two very good to great linebackers. Bobby Wagner may be the best in the NFL. K.J. Wright has been an All-Pro. But Seattle needs youth and talent at the position. Here are four players in the 2018 NFL Draft who could help.

The Seahawks need younger talent nearly everywhere. Not that Seattle is without talent, of course, but it is aging. Unless Seattle finds some youth to go with the experience, once this championship window closes for the Seahawks there might be several barren years.

John Schneider hopefully doesn’t want this. Pete Carroll might retire in two seasons but he doesn’t want to bequeath seasons of awfulness unto Seattle. Paul Allen doesn’t want a mediocre franchise. And 12s certainly would not tolerate an aging empire falling into the sea.

So how does this not happen? Excellent drafts, that’s how. And lately, Seattle’s picks have mostly not panned out. 2018 needs to be different. And here are four linebackers who can help make sure the future is a good one.

Roquan Smith, Georgia

There is a slim chance Smith is still around at number 18 – Seattle’s current slot with their first pick in the draft. But still…there is a chance. And if he is, just forget what I said about Josh Jackson in my LOB draft preview, Smith needs to be the Seahawks’ pick.

Smith is active and fast and can run sideline to sideline like Wagner. In fact, he made 137 tackles in 2017 with Georgia and had 6.5 sacks. He was basically the college version of Wagner.

He isn’t huge at 6’1″ and 230 pounds, but neither was Wagner. And Bobby has worked out pretty well.

Rashaan Evans, Alabama

Is it any coincidence that the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs had two very good linebackers and ended up in the college football championship? No, not really. Evans is not far off Smith. He had 11.5 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2017.

Evans does not have Smith’s speed but is bigger. He also likes to hit people, which Carroll loves. And there is no doubt that Evans was well-coached at Alabama making him even more NFL-ready.

Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

Edmunds does all the things that Seattle asks their linebackers to do on defense: Cover receivers, run from sideline to sideline and simply make an impact. He is also really big. Edmunds is 6’5″. If he runs a really good 40 before the draft, he will probably move up so quickly that Seattle has no chance to select him.

Edmunds is also from Virginia Tech, so Kam Chancellor could put in a good word or two for him.

Malik Jefferson, Texas

Jefferson might fit nearly as well as any linebacker in this draft for Seattle. The Seahawks want to give their linebackers the freedom to cover the field and Jefferson does that extremely well. But what he does not do well is take on blockers in the run game. If he did, he would be higher on this list.

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Seattle probably has bigger draft needs than linebacker in the 2018 NFL draft, but if they choose to go with the best player available to them, one of the four above might fit that.