The only prediction about a John Schneider draft we know will be true: Your predictions will all be wrong.
The Seattle Seahawks‘ board won’t look like anyone else’s. It will trade down 18 times if it has to in order to pick someone the Seahawks are comfortable taking relative to value and draft grade.
Schneider eschews many traditional techniques and trusts his own eye on player evaluation. His vision over the course of his tenure in Seattle has been pretty close to 20/20.
But the Seahawks head into the 2018 offseason with serious question marks for the first time in what feels like a decade (more like five years).
Kam Chancellor will be back next year, but in what form? Ditto for Richard Sherman. Key starters up front on both sides of the ball will be free agents, along with their best deep threat and starting tight end.
Michael Bennett’s career in the Pacific Northwest could be over and the Seahawks are suddenly not looking like the loaded team set up for long-term success they appeared to be as recently as a year ago.
Where should they be looking in the draft?
Without knowing who stays and who goes on this roster, that’s a hard picture to paint, particularly with Schneider being known for his aggressiveness both in free agency and on the trade market.
Understand this is mostly just a fun exercise to see who could be available at key positions of need for Seattle this spring and who could be on the radar.
Round 1, Pick 18 — Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
With Paul Richardson set to be a free agent, the Seahawks add a speed threat with return ability and toughness. One longtime scout compared Kirk to Golden Tate, a former Seattle standout. Kirk could fit nicely opposite Doug Baldwin.
The Seahawks don’t seem to mind having a shorter group of receivers and at 5-foot-11, Kirk is hardly “small,” particularly at a rocked-up 200 pounds. If the Legion of Boom’s time is coming to a close, perhaps prioritizing offensive skill talent to build a team around Russell Wilson will be the move.
Round 2, No Pick
Round 3, No Pick
Round 4, Pick 116 — Wyatt Teller, G, Virginia Tech
A former defensive lineman moved to offense. What else do I need to say? It’s almost too good to be true for the Seahawks, who love players like Teller. In fact, Rob Rang from NFL Draft Scout even compared Teller to former Seahawk guard J.R. Sweezy.
Teller could sneak into Day 2 consideration, which means if he falls to the Seahawks here, they could get a starter-caliber guard who fits their draft patterns in the fourth round.
Round 5, Pick 132 — Trayvon Henderson, S, Hawaii
This is a smart, experienced playmaker in the back end for an aging secondary that lacks depth, particularly at the safety position. This isn’t an heir-apparent situation, but Henderson could become a solid backup and special teams contributor. In the fifth, that’s all a team can ask.
Round 5, Pick 137 — Nick Nelson, CB, Wisconsin
I am not sure there’s any team outside the darkest blue of blue bloods which has turned out more quality defenders in the last few years than the Wisconsin Badgers. Nelson is a strong, physical corner with a tremendous ability to play the ball in the air. He led the FBS in pass breakups with 21 last season.
Round 5, Pick 159 — Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame
Quarterback struggles limited Smythe’s effectiveness in South Bend despite his size (6-foot-5, 253 pounds) and relative athleticism. That said, he showed well at the Senior Bowl and has the tools to be a useful piece in an NFL passing offense that loves to use multiple tight ends.
Round 6, No Pick
Round 7, Pick 200 — Darrell Williams, RB, LSU
Overshadowed by Leonard Fournette and Darius Guice in college, Williams could end up being one of the steals of the draft. He performed well at the Senior Bowl and is the kind of banger back the Seahawks love.
Round 7, Pick 209 — Holton Hill, CB, Texas
A 6-foot-2, 200-pound corner with pedigree as a former high school All-American, Hill is a playmaker who could be a solid backup corner and special teams contributor.
Round 7, Pick 222 — Ade Aruna, DE, Tulane
Whether the Seahawks keep Michael Bennett or not, every team could stand to add a little juice on the edge. Aruna, a Nigerian-born player, could be a worthy project with ideal size.
Round 7, Pick 224 — Riley Ferguson, QB, Memphis
Every team should take a quarterback at least once every other year. Ferguson was extremely productive at Memphis after transferring from Tennessee. Taking a shot on a former high school All-American and ESPN All-State player represents the perfect gamble here.