On the eve of a, yeah, decently sized draft for the transitioning Seahawks, I’ve updated our News Tribune mock of Thursday’s first round.
I still have Seattle drafting 24-year-old Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles, the most athletic tackle coming out of college who has a remarkable back story. I wrote about it in Wednesday’s TNT. That pick is contingent on the New York Giants, Denver Broncos or other teams selecting ahead of the Seahawks in round one not taking Bolles.
If Bolles isn’t there at 26, sensing it will be Kevin King. His 6-foot-3 size and press coverage fit what Seattle’s defense does, and there is a starting cornerback job waiting to be had with the Seahawks.
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Let’s also not discount the possibility Seahawks general manager John Schneider trades down from 26, to get more picks in the middle of this draft. Seattle has five picks in the first 106 selections, but none in rounds four or five and only seven overall. That’s the fewest since Schneider and coach Pete Carroll took over the franchise in 2010.
League-wide, starting to sense that Jacksonville has been so linked to LSU running back Leonard Fournette that it’s become a smoke screen, and that former Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who returns to the Jaguars to run that team, will stay true to his love of toughness along the line and chose Alabama’s premier defensive tackle Jonathan Allen. That would push Fournette to the Carolina at No. 8 -- and Christian McCaffrey, the runner/pass catcher supreme from Stanford, down to 19 to needy Tampa Bay.
I see Cleveland, with 11 picks including four in the first two rounds, getting yet another new quarterback -- but not hometown guy Mitch Trubisky. He’ll go to the Jets at six; though I’m still wondering how Trubisky became the top quarterback prospect after just 13 college starts at North Carolina. Deshaun Watson to the Browns at 12. Then Bruce Arians gets a gunslinger wild card as the potential replacement for 75-year-old quarterback Carson Palmer next year.
If the Seahawks take Bolles, I still see King going in the first round -- to the Steelers late. Pittsburgh’s pass defense is its biggest liability.
We’ll see beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday. Join colleagues Dave Boling, T.J. Cotterill, Kenny Via and me for our TNT live draft chat from Seahawks’ headquarters in Renton starting at 4:30 p.m. here at thenewstribune.com/sports.
1. Cleveland: Myles Garrett, edge rusher, Texas A&M
Draft’s best player goes to league’s worst team
2. San Francisco: Solomon Thomas, edge rusher, Stanford
Top 2 are pass rushers in league that covets them
3. Chicago: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Yes, hamstring issues. Best he’s the best at another premium position
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
Fournette was a smokescreen. Tom Coughlin now running Jags, wants tough linemen
5. Tennessee Titans: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Big, fast, versatile and rare in the middle of any secondary
6. New York Jets: Mitchell Trubinsky, QB, North Carolina
Either him or DeShaun Watson for team still stung for drafting Geno Smith
7. San Diego Chargers: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Draft’s No. 2 safety for team desperate for DB help
8. Carolina Panthers: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Would have taken McCaffrey. Could go OT to help Cam Newton
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
They often trade up. If not, big help for a black-hole position
10. Buffalo Bills: John Ross, WR, Washington
Western Michigan’s Corey Davis better? He didn’t run a 4.2 40
11. New Orleans Saints: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Perenially defense-needy Saints can’t believe top pass rusher’s still available
12. Cleveland: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Would have picked hometown guy Trubinsky. Take national-title winner
13. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Gunslinger. Arians: a rookie QB may get midweek prep for Carson Palmer retiring
14. Philadelphia Eagles: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Would have loved Ross. "Settles" for polished, all-round WR
15. Indianapolis: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
A rising star. And Colts have a need for defensive speed
16. Baltimore Ravens: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Christmas in April for Ravens. Top TE still there
17. Washington Redskins: Takarrist McKinley, DE, UCLA
Injury concerns. No concerns with how fast he can be off edge
18. Tennessee Titans: David Njoku, TE, Miami
After defense earlier, Titans get QB Marcus Mariota an athletic playmaker
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
In wake of Doug Martin’s suspension, a dynamic, run/catch replacement
20. Denver Broncos: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Need an OT as much as Seahawks. Just a question of whom they see as best one
21. Detroit Lions: Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri
DET looked slow on defense in Jan. playoffs in SEA. Harris is not slow
22. Miami Dolphins: Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
Played tackle in college. Could go CB here
23. New York Giants: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Outland Trophy winner to another OL-desperate team—for Eli Manning
24. Oakland Raiders: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Vehemently denies incident in Cleveland last weekend. Another supreme cover man
25. Houston Texans: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Now if they could only find a QB to throw to him
26. SEAHAWKS: Garret Bolles, OT, Utah
Most athletic tackle, OL coach Cable reportedly was at Utah last weekend
27. Kansas City Chiefs: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Teamed with Marcus Peters=KC stacked at corner
28. Dallas Cowboys: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
A run on CBs, to a team that needs one. Or three
29. Green Bay Packers: T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
J.J.’s brother makes so much sense here it probably won’t happen
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kevin King, CB, Washington
Mike Tomlin wants—needs—pass rushers. But needs cover guys more
31: Atlanta Falcons: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Dan Quinn is from Pete Carroll school: never enough big edge rushers
32: New Orleans Saints: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Saints still need more defense, get a dynamic hybrid
As for the later rounds...
AND FOR A MORE EXPERT ANALYSIS ...
Speaking of local, here is Tacoma’s NFL draft expert Rob Rang from cbssports.com with his mock first round. He has Seattle selecting Connecticut’s freakishly athletic safety Obi Melifonwu, with Bolles gone by then to the Giants at 23 and UW safety Budda Baker going 31st overall to Atlanta.