Seahawks will move down to get everything they want in the draft

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Shaquem Griffin #18 of the UCF Knights sacks Jarrett Stidham #8 of the Auburn Tigers in the third quarter during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Shaquem Griffin #18 of the UCF Knights sacks Jarrett Stidham #8 of the Auburn Tigers in the third quarter during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

The 2018 NFL Draft is just hours away. We may find out just how many trades the Seahawks can pull off in one draft. Over-under is four and a half.

The Seahawks have a bit of a reputation for trading picks in the NFL Draft. That’s likely because they haven’t held on to their original first round pick since they drafted James Carpenter back in the 1960’s. Okay, it was actually in 2011, but it certainly seems like it was in another century.

Ever since then, John Schneider and Pete Carroll have moved back in the draft to go forward on the field. For the most part it’s worked. Which is exactly why we’ll see a lot more of it in the 2018 draft. In four of the last five years, Seattle has moved out of the first round entirely. Get ready to make that five out of six.

A week ago, I predicted the Seahawks would trade down to pick up a perfect fit at safety, Ronnie Harrison. I still think they’ll trade down, and I still think they’ll get Harrison. But he won’t be the first player the Seahawks select. I believe Seattle will swap first round picks with Carolina, picking up the Panthers own third round pick in the draft. That moves the Seahawks down from 18 to 24. Schneider now waves his magic wand towards Indianapolis. With that, he turns the 24th overall pick into the Colts numbers 5 and 17 picks in the second round. No first round pick, but Seattle now has two on day two, and can still get their guys.

Will Hernandez to Seahawks?
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 02: UTEP offensive lineman Will Hernandez in action during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks /

Seattle Seahawks

In the second round, the Seahawks select…

Nope, not Harrison. Not yet. From what I’ve seen, his draft stock has dropped a bit. While the player they will take with their first pick has bounced around a bit on the boards, I still think UTEP guard/bulldozer Will Hernandez will be there for Seattle at number five. Pro Football focus ranks him as the third best guard in the draft.

He’s celebrated for his run blocking, but allowed just three pressures on 386 pass plays last year. And yes, he is an absolute beast in the run game. Read this write-up on him by’s Nick Shook, and tell me Hernandez isn’t exactly the earth-mover the Seahawks need.

Now we get to Ronnie Harrison. He has some work to do, namely in his tackling efficiency. I’m certain that defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. can give him some guidance. At 6’3″ and 220, Harrison has the size to handle tight ends. His passer rating against of just 38.9 attests he can cover just about anybody.

Obo Okoronwko to Seahawks?
Obo Okoronkwo runs thru a drill during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 4, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

With their third selection, the Seattle Seahawks…

Trade again. You’re shocked, I can tell. This time though, Schneider moves up. He’ll package that 24th pick third round from the Panthers with the Seahawks own 19th pick in the fifth round, along with their seventh pick in the seventh round. Dizzy yet? I know I am.

So all this goes to the New York Giants for their fifth pick in the third. By moving up 19 spots, the Seahawks add Oklahoma defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.  Despite his height, just 6’1″, Pro Football Focus ranks him the fourth best edge defender in the class. He grades out extremely well in both pass and run defense. He could be a fixture in Seattle for a decade, and is worth the move up.

Now we get to day three of the draft. In the fourth round, I think the Seahawks will be getting nervous, but will stand pat. I have no doubt Pete Carroll and John Schneider will hear the roars of the 12s all the way from Seattle to Arlington when they announce Shaquem Griffin as the newest member of the team.

Pro Football Focus grades him as the seventh best linebacker in the draft, while CBS Sports lists him as 13th. All I know is he ran the fastest 40 by a linebacker in ten years, and only missed 26 tackles in his entire career. That’s nearly 1,700 snaps. We’ve written about him at length, and look forward to doing so for years to come.

John Kelly to Seahawks?
KNOXVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 18: John Kelly #4 of the Tennessee Volunteers runs with the ball against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Neyland Stadium on November 18, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Rounds five and beyond

If you’ve been keeping score, the Seahawks still have the fourth, ninth, and 31st picks in round five, and they’ll make excellent use of them. With the fourth selection (the 141st overall), Seattle will add North Carolina’s Will Richardson. He’ll only be available this low due to some off-field issues at college. Both CBS Sports and Pro Football Focus rank him as the eighth best tackle in the draft.

With the ninth pick the Seahawks add one of the best sleepers in the draft, Tennessee running back John Kelly. Much like last year’s stunner Alvin Kamara, Kelly was underutilized in the Volunteer’s attack. While it’s true his production dropped significantly as the season wore on, that only mirrored Tennessee’s terrible season. Like Kamara, he’ll prove he can play with the big kids.

The Seahawks will take a flyer with their 31st pick, and select LSU defensive end Arden Key. I know, there’s no way a player with his tools should be around on day three, But when you miss time due to personal reasons, and then have shoulder surgery, your stock is going to drop. So why take a chance at all? When a guy sets his college record for most sacks in a season (12), you take a shot.

There’s nothing in the sixth round for the Hawks, so it’s on to the final round of the draft. Seattle has the eighth and 30th picks in the seventh round. First they’ll address depth at corner with Arizona’s Dane Cruikshank. At 6’1″ and 206 pounds, he has the size Seattle loves at the position.

Finally, with the 248th overall selection, the Seahawks will go back to the undefeated University of Central Florida for tight end Jordan Atkins. Pro Football Focus ranks him sixth among all tight ends. Atkins played four seasons in the Texas Rangers minor league system. About time the Seahawks try someone who didn’t play basketball in college, right?

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I expect exactly one of these choices to pan out this week. As I only have three trades listed, I know I’m way, way off. As long as the pick I got right is Shaquem Griffin, I’m just fine with that.