Seattle Seahawks

Still offensive line questions, so Seahawks likely to take more blockers again at NFL draft

Army tackle Brett Toth is trying to become the second West Point graduate currently in the NFL. He was here at the NFL combine last month, then the Seahawks plus 11 other teams were reportedly at his Pro Day. But he knows his first priority is serving the U.S. Army.
Army tackle Brett Toth is trying to become the second West Point graduate currently in the NFL. He was here at the NFL combine last month, then the Seahawks plus 11 other teams were reportedly at his Pro Day. But he knows his first priority is serving the U.S. Army. Gregg Bell/The News Tribune

Despite all the angst and anger over the Seahawks not doing enough to improve their offensive line in recent years, no team has drafted more blockers in the last seven years.

Expect Seattle to add to that total of 16 in next week's draft, too.

There are questions at four of the five starting spots on the line entering 2018. Only center Justin Britt is a semi-sure thing up front beyond this year. Plus, coach Pete Carroll says improving the running game is his top priority.

So who's available for new line coach Mike Solari, who is replacing the fired Tom Cable after Cable's seven years running and largely picking the Seahawks line?

We'll start with the best prospects in each position, and then list the later-round prospects likely to be available for the Seahawks. They have six of their eight picks in rounds five and seven.

TACKLE

1. Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame: 6-feet-8, 312 pounds. Best run blocker in the draft. Former basketball player considered ready to start in the league today.

2. Connor WIlliams, Texas: Considered a prototype pass blocker. Some say may be better at guard. Coming off knee injury last year.

3. Orlando Brown, Oklahoma: Anemic combine showing, fewer bench presses than snappers and running backs, may scare off some teams. But he's mammoth, with a nearly 7-foot wingspan, and devoured college guys he blocked.

Possible later-round options for Seahawks:

1. Brett Toth, Army: Seattle scouted his Pro Day at West Point, which in itself was remarkable. Two-year commitment as an Army officer means he'd be a layaway pick.

The Seahawks have been scouting Army RT Brett Toth before this month's NFL draft. With service obligations after graduation in May, one of the best run blockers in college football last season has far from a direct path into league.

2. Alex Cappa, Humboldt State: Yes, from Division II. But he impressed at the Senior Bowl against the big-school guys. 4-year starter. D-II All-America. Nasty demeanor Seahawks new line coach Solari loves.

cappa.jpg
Guard-tackle Alex Cappa is a week away from likely being the first player from Humboldt State taken in the NFL draft since 1990, and only the fourth one ever. He has the size, athleticism and versatility the Seahawks like. And he'll be available in the later rounds, where Seattle has six of its eight picks. Gregg Bell/The News Tribune Gregg Bell/The News Tribune

3. Brandon Parker, North Carolina A&T: Another lower-division prospect who impressed at the Senior Bowl. His college line coach, Ron Mattes, was a Seahawks draft pick in 1985 and played in 75 games for Seattle from 1986-90.

GUARD

1. Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame: So polished he could go in the top 10. With him and McGlinchey side-by-side, how did the Irish lose games?

2. Will Hernandez, Texas-El Paso: Very quick and agile for being 6-2 and 348. 49 consecutive starts at LG for UTEP. Best run-blocking guard in this class.

3. Isaiah Wynn, Georgia: Left tackle last year, but at 6-3 has NFL-guard height. Likely gone by the end of round one or early round two.

Possible later-round options for Seahawks:

1. Austin Corbett, Nevada: Has the versatility Seahawks love: A college left tackle who moved to guard at Senior Bowl and excelled. Tough, athletic. Former walk-on at his hometown school loves to scrap.

2. Skyler Phillips, Idaho State: 6-3, 324. Has started at left tackle, left guard, right tackle, right guard and center. Have I mentioned the Seahawks love that?

3. Timon Parris, Stony Brook: Teams will be scared by a broken leg last season. Invited to Senior Bowl but couldn't play. 6-5, 312. Moves well. Has played both tackle spots, too.

CENTER

1. Billy Price, Ohio State: An All-American at center last season, and at left guard in 2016. Big Ten offensive lineman of the year. Pulls and traps exquisitely. Started OSU-record 55 games.

2. Frank Ragnow, Arkansas: Just mauls dudes inside while run blocking. Many think he can start in the NFL right now.

3. James Daniels, Iowa: Fast and athletic. Still 20 years old so room to grow and improve on already impressive skill.

Possible later-round options for Seahawks

1. Austin Golson, Auburn: Ethan Pocic-like. Last season Golson played at left tackle, left guard, right tackle, right guard and center. Are you sensing a trend?

2. Coleman Shelton, Washington: 6-3, 295. All-Pac-12 for the Huskies last season. Quickness would be great for zone-blocking schemes, which the Seahawks may not use as exclusively under Solari as they did with Cable.

Cameron Shelton
Washington offensive lineman Coleman Shelton (79) during the first half of a game against Arizona on Sept. 24, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. Rick Scuteri The Associated Press

3. Brian Allen, Michigan State: Rugged tough guy. Played left guard, right guard and center for the Spartans.

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