The NFL Draft is set to take place, digitally, beginning on April 23, and as things stand now, the Seahawks are scheduled to pick 27th in the first round, and hold seven picks overall. Seahawks.com is taking a position-by-position look at where things currently stand on the Seahawks' roster, as well as the top prospects at each position. We'll also look at Seattle's draft history at each position under general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll.
So far we've looked at quarterback, cornerback, receiver, safety, running back and linebacker, and today we turn our attention to tight end. Check back tomorrow for a look at where things stand with the defensive line.
Seattle's 2020 Draft Picks: Round 1, No. 27 overall; Round 2, No. 59 overall; Round 2, No. 64 overall; Round 3, No. 101 overall; Round 4, No. 133 overall; Round 4, No. 144 overall; Round 6, No. 214 overall.
Draft History Under Carroll & Schneider: Anthony McCoy (No. 185 overall, 2010), Luke Willson (No. 158, 2013), Nick Vannett (No. 94, 2016), Will Dissly (No. 120, 2018).
Where The Seahawks Stand
Injuries left the Seahawks pretty thin at tight end at times last year, but thanks to the bigger-than-expected contributions of Jacob Hollister and the return of Luke Willson, the Seahawks still got some good play out of that position even with Will Dissly and Ed Dickson sidelined for most or all of the season.
Despite those in-season depth concerns, the Seahawks have plenty of reasons to like what that group can provide in 2020. Dissly, who has been fantastic in limited playing time in each of his first two seasons, is expected to be ready for the start of the season, Carroll said at the NFL Scouting Combine, and the Seahawks are planning on keeping Hollister around having tendered him as a restricted free agent. Willson is officially still a free agent, but Schneider said at the combine that they hope to have him back, and Willson indicated he is returning on social media last month.
And in a move that could make a big difference at that group, the Seahawks added former Pro-Bowl tight end Greg Olsen after he was released by the Panthers in February. In Olsen and a healthy Dissly, the Seahawks could have the best tight end tandem of the Carroll-Schneider era, and Hollister and Willson—if he's indeed back—would represent very solid depth to complement those two.
"Really excited about Greg," Carroll said at the combine. "Thought that was a really important get for us, to be solid at the tight-end spot. I'm loving Will Dissly, I'm loving what Jacob Hollister did. But (adding Olsen) is another step in solidifying—a big, 6-5 target to get the ball, knows routes, understands the game, which really complements (Russell Wilson's) mentality. It's going to be a great duo, I think."
The addition of Olsen to an already strong group means the Seahawks won't feel forced to draft a tight end, but they also experienced first-hand last season how important depth can be at that spot, so adding even more to that position group could still be a move that makes sense depending on how things fall in the draft.
NFL.com's Top 5 Linebackers
NFL.com's rankings of the top tight end prospects in the 2020 draft.
1. Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
Overview (via NFL.com): Long bodied, early entry Y tight end prospect who is a better pass threat than run blocker at this stage. Kmet should continue to fill out his frame, but his run blocking is too scattered and needs better focus and efficiency as a pro. He can be jammed and slowed by early contact into his route, but once he's striding, he becomes a legitimate second-level threat with sneaky separation speed and intriguing ball skills. He's still developing and could be a slow starter headed into the league, but he has the talent to eventually become a solid starter as a pass-catching in-line tight end with the ability to mismatch from the slot with his size.
2. Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic
Overview (via NFL.com): Bryant's plus athletic traits, high football IQ and toughness as a blocker make him one of the most talented, well-rounded tight ends in this draft. He's a little light to be considered for full-time work as a "Y" tight end, but his technique and tenacity should not be discounted in his ability to help the running game. He's instinctive in space with speed and separation talent to work all three levels and gives offensive coordinators the freedom to line him up all over the field. Bryant could become an early starter and has the talent to be a high volume pass-catching target as a move tight end.
3. Devin Asiasi, UCLA
Overview (via NFL.com): Asiasi had just eight career catches heading into the 2019 season, but his '19 tape should be Exhibit A in assigning his draft grade. He needs to work on eliminating bad weight and improving his technique as an in-line blocker, but his athleticism and speed really stand out in space. He's a threat in the seam and with deep corners and over routes in a play-action based attack. Once he learns to attack throws and body defenders with his frame, he will offer value as a possession target on third downs. Asiasi's areas of improvement are attainable and he projects as a play-making Y with future TE1 potential.
4. Adam Trautman, Dayton
Overview (via NFL.com): Right now, Trautman is a big, pass-catching tight end who needs to prove he can transition from his level of competition and handle bigger, more physical coverage dogging him around the field. He has a solid athletic profile, but his technique as a blocker will need to be upgraded as teams will likely expect him to play in-line due to his size. He's a talented pass-catcher with Day 3 potential, and good upside to work with.
5. Hunter Bryant, Washington
Overview (via NFL.com): He will get the matchup-tight-end moniker, but scouts feel like he's more of a big slot receiver in the pros. He doesn't have ideal size or determination as a blocker, but he has sticky hands with the acceleration to work past linebackers and threaten seams. He's a straight-line mover who gets bogged down in and out of breaks. He has playmaking ability but needs linear routes that allow him to keep moving on all three levels. Bryant is a scheme-dependent pass-catcher with a higher ceiling, but lower floor and a history of knee injuries that will need clearance by NFL medical staffs.
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