It is probably way, way too early to predict next spring’s NFL draft largely in part to the fact we do not know who will even declare for the draft yet or where the Seahawks will pick. I am going to do it anyway.
Seattle will likely pick somewhere in the upper-middle part of the first round, barring some extreme winning or losing streak. Luckily for the Seahawks, this draft is absolutely loaded with their biggest need: defensive line.
The first prospect that comes to mind when I think of a Seahawks prospect is Montez Sweat. Sweat is a 4-3 defensive end with HUGE size, at 6’6 and 245 lbs. Assuming Frank Clark re-signs, or accepts a franchise tag, Seattle will need a big play-making edge rusher opposite Clark.
The Mississippi State prospect led the SEC in sacks and tackles for losses in 2017, and is having a strong 2018 season so far. Drafting pass rush should be a huge priority for the Seahawks and Montez Sweat seems like a great fit.
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Another prospect I like for Seattle is Sweat’s Mississippi State teammate, Jeffery Simmons. Simmons also plays on the Bulldogs’ defensive line. He lines up as a 3-tech and specializes in stuffing the run, but is also efficient in pass rush.
Simmons reminds me of another draftee Seattle liked by the name of Malik McDowell, but we do not talk about him. Simmons has great size and uses his strength and arm length to stop the run as well as bullrush and deflect balls at the line of scrimmage.
Simmons does have some past off the field issues, including video tape of him in a physical altercation with a female, but his coaches believe he has learned from his mistakes and consider him a great leader. This may affect his draft stock, but Seattle is known to take chances on those with past troubles.
The final, and possibly my favorite prospect in this draft, is Michigan’s Rashan Gary. Gary is possibly the most versatile and talented defensive lineman in this class. Gary can rush the passer from the edge and also be very effective stuffing the run as a defensive tackle. Gary also has great size (6’5, 280), but has speed like a linebacker.
His combination of speed and power as well as his versatility makes him another Seahawks type prospect. With Nick Bosa and Ed Oliver both likely going in the first round, a similar talent in Rashan Gary would be a fantastic value in the middle of the first round.
The only question surrounding Gary is his health. Gary has already missed three games this season and may miss a fourth this weekend. According to his mother, there is zero chance Gary will leave the Wolverines for the NFL like Bosa. As far as I’m concerned, both Simmons and Gary could declare early, as long as the Seahawks could somehow land both.