Seahawks Pre-Draft visits are a peak into the crystal ball
By Derek Tweedy
With their first pick, the Seattle Seahawks select…
Pre-draft visits are usually not closely linked to who your team will take in the NFL draft, but with the Seahawks it might just be a peak into the crystal ball. Seattle is one team that generally does bring in the player they end up selecting first in the draft. They also tend to bring in other players they will select or bring in after the draft as un-drafted free agents.
The Seahawks have brought in for a pre-draft visit each of the players they selected first in the last five drafts — Christine Michael in 2013, Paul Richardson in 2014 and Frank Clark in 2015, Germain Ifedi in 2016 and Malik McDowell in 2017. Not all of these guys were first round picks, but they were the first pick for the Seahawks in the draft.
- 2017, the Seahawks drafted 2 players they had in for workouts; Malik McDowell and Shaquill Griffin.
- 2016, Seattle drafted 3 and signed 2 as un-drafted free agents.
- 2015, the Seahawks drafted 4 players they brought in for pre-draft visits, and 3 players they signed as un-drafted free agents.
- 2014, the Seahawks drafted three and signed three as un-drafted free agents.
- 2013, they drafted 1 and signed 2 others as UDFA’s.
Each team is allotted 30 pre-draft visits each year, and Seattle ends up with an average of 4 players per year from their visits, that is about 14%. Meaning this is not an exact science, but it does give insight into who and what Seattle covets each year.
So who has Seattle been spending their visits with this year:
Kyle Allen, QB – Houston
Dorance Armstrong, DE/OLB – Kansas
Andrew Brown – DE/DT – Virginia
Leighton Vander Esch – LB – Boise State
Poona Ford – DT – Texas
Dallas Goedert – TE – South Dakota St.
Marcell Harris – S – Florida
Khalid Hill – FB – Michigan
Maurice Hurst – DT – Michigan
Christian Kirk – WR – Texas A&M
Keith Kirkwood – WR – Temple
Jacob Martin – DL – Temple
Alex McGough – QB – Florida International
Derek Nnadi – DT – Florida State
Foye Oluokun – LB – Yale
Billy Price – OG/C – Ohio State
Jacob Pugh – LB – Florida State
Ed Shockley – LB – Villanova
Ito Smith – RB – Southern Miss
Josh Sweat – DE/OLB – Florida State
Julian Taylor – DT – Temple
Simeon Thomas – CB – UL Lafayette
Kemoko Turay – DE/OLB – Rutgers
All pre-draft visit information courtesy of walterfootball.com. That is 2 quarterbacks who are considered late round guys or un-drafted free agents. 1 running back and 1 fullback. 2 wide receivers (Seattle has had multiple visits with Christian Kirk). 1 tight end, and 3 offensive lineman. 3 DE/OLB’s (pass rushers), and 7 DT’s. 3 linebackers 3 corners, and 3 safeties.
The heavy emphasis is definitely on the defensive side of the ball. The 7 defensive tackles was surprising at first until you delve deeper and realize Shamar Stephen and Tom Johnson are on 1 year deals and Quinton Jefferson is in the final year of his deal. Malik McDowell is also likely on his way out.
Seattle currently holds the 18th pick in the draft. Many expect the Seahawks to trade back, but that hasn’t happened yet. The players currently rated as 1st round draft picks from above are Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Goedert, Rasheem Green, Ronnie Harrison, Maurice Hurst, Christian Kirk, Isaiah Oliver and Billy Price.
All of the guys listed above are considered fringe first round guys or early second round players with the exception of Leighton Vander Esch and Isaiah Oliver.
Vander Esch is a bit intriguing as he doesn’t seem to have an exact fit in Seattle at the moment. The final linebacker role appears to be set by Barkevious Mingo. When you dig deeper, it makes a little more sense. Mingo is expected to fill a role similar to what Bruce Irvin did, meaning he will put his hand in the dirt on obvious passing downs. In those cases Seattle will likely only have 2 or 1 linebacker on the field, one of those could be Vander Esch, whom Mike Mayock said was the best coverage linebacker in this draft. This could also be foreshadowing as KJ Wright’s deal is up next season.
Oliver is a corner who does seem to fit Seattle’s physical requirements and could definitely be a target if we remain at 18.
What about defensive end?
I am surprised by the lack of first round quality players at defensive end as most 12’s would argue that pass rush is our biggest need. Josh Sweat is getting the most attention.
A trade back is the most likely scenario?
With only 2 true first rounders in the group, it points to a trade down as everyone continues to speculate for the Seahawks. 9 of the players on the above list are considered second or early third round players.
Names to watch
6 players have had multiple visits with Seattle.
Keep an eye on Tony Brown, a cornerback from Alabama. Seattle has had multiple visits with Brown including a private workout, visit at the combine and dinner at the Alabama pro day.
Dallas Goedert, Josh Sweat, Kyle Allen, Christian Kirk and Justin Reid have all had a private workouts and a private visit.
Related Story: Seahawks announce 2018 schedule...
The NFL draft is just around the corner, let’s see if my crystal ball really works!