Seahawks third tier for the draft: “Let’s play this safe”
The next section contains the players I think are safe to make an immediate impact. They are players who have safe floors and admirable ceilings. These are day one starters that can be depended on to build a solid core.
Jermaine Johnson II, Edge
Johnson has been a riser over the last couple of months. He possesses everything you look for in a defensive end. He produced in a very competitive division (ACC) to the tune of 17.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles last year.
He is also highly athletic with a relative athletic score of 9.58/10. He is a player I can see coming in and averaging 7-11 sacks a year across from a speed rusher like Darrell Taylor. That duo has huge potential to be a 20-25 sack a year as a 1-2 punch. I would be ecstatic to come out of the draft with Johnson.
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB
A player whose nickname says all you really need to know. His playing style, personality, and production are all spicy. He is a player who was slept on and showed time and time again that he is one of the best in this draft class.
He is sticky in coverage, crazy athletic, and possesses a top-tier football IQ. He is also someone who has impressed every team that has been reported to host him for a visit. He has the swagger, desire for greatness, and leadership that a rebuilding team will look at and say “We need that.”
Zion Johnson, LG
The Seahawks are moving toward a run-first offense you say? They missed out on the likes of Ikem Ekwonu, and Evan Neal you say? What if I told you there is a player who is just a smidgen below those two and will almost assuredly be available when the Seahawks pick?
Zion Johnson is very comfortable playing in a wide-zone scheme (the new offensive scheme). He possesses the size, and athleticism to be an instant upgrade over all the guards currently rostered. Pete Carroll also mentioned that Gabe Jackson is not a shoo-in for the right guard spot.
What if the Seahawks look at Johnsons’ incredible athletic score (9.74/10) and think he is easily the safest player to ensure an offense without a sure-thing QB can still operate functionally? We want to run the ball and Johnson will make that possibility way more likely to succeed.
Tyler Linderbaum, C
Tony Pauline recently reported that Linderbaum may be falling down draft boards. This has nothing to do with his tape and everything to do with what is known about his size/ athleticism. The reason he is dropping, the community knows nothing about him outside of him possessing short arms.
Linderbaum has been unable to test due to injury (not considered long-term). I almost put Linderbaum on the trade-back list but decided he is safer than upside (which is what the trade-back targets are).
He looks like this year’s Creed Humphrey. A player with exceptional technical refinement. His hand placement, competitive toughness, balance, agility, and upside are off-the-charts. His skillset (and flaws) are perfectly suited for the new wide-zone offensive scheme as well.
I think he will be available into the mid-late first round, I also think he is an incredibly safe prospect. Centers simply don’t get drafted early.
What if all the players the Seahawks want are gone at 9. What if the John Schneider special comes out and the Seahawks trade back. Whom could they target?