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2021 NFL Draft Preview: Do The Seahawks Need To Add Depth At Safety?

A look at where the Seahawks stand at safety heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, and at some of the top prospects at that position. 

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FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2019, file photo, TCU safety Trevon Moehrig (7) celebrates his interception with teammates Ross Blacklock (90) and Ochaun Mathis (32) in the second half of an NCAA college football game, in Fort Worth, Texas. Moehrig was selected to The Associated Press All-Big 12 Conference team, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Louis DeLuca, File)

The 2021 NFL draft kicks off on Thursday, April 29, though as things currently stand, the Seahawks will be sitting out Day 1 of the draft having traded their first-round pick to acquire safety Jamal Adams last summer. While the Seahawks could always add more picks via trades, for now they have just three picks due to the trades made to acquire Adams, defensive end Carlos Dunlap II and guard Gabe Jackson. And whether the Seahawks end up making just those three picks or if John Schneider works his magic and they end up selecting more players, there will still be opportunities to add talent to the roster, so over the next two weeks, Seahawks.com will take a position-by-position look at where things currently stand for the Seahawks, as well as the top draft prospects at each position. We'll also look at Seattle's draft history at each position over the past 11 drafts under general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll. 

So far we've covered the offensive and defensive lines and running back, and today we take a look at where things stand safety. Tomorrow, we'll turn our attention to receiver.  

Seattle's 2021 Draft Picks: Round 2, No. 56 overall; Round 4, No. 129 overall; Round 7, Pick No. 250 overall.

Draft History Under Carroll & Schneider: Earl Thomas (No. 14 overall, 2010), Kam Chancellor (No. 133, 2010), Mark LeGree (No. 156, 2011), Winston Guy (No. 181, 2012), Ryan Murphy (No. 248, 2015), Lano Hill (No. 95, 2017), Tedric Thompson (No. 111, 2017), Marquise Blair (No. 47, 2019).

Where The Seahawks Stand

The Seahawks are low on draft capital this year largely because they traded away this year's first- and third-round picks to the Jets to acquire Jamal Adams, who in his first season with the Seahawks was a Pro-Bowler and second-team All-Pro. So while the Seahawks are unlikely to Pick on Day 1 of this year's draft, they'll watch the first-round knowing their pick already netted them an elite talent. 

Seattle's other Pro-Bowl starting safety, Quandre Diggs, was also a trade acquisition, joining the team in 2019, and in that tandem the Seahawks can head into 2021 feeling really good about the back end of their defense. But while it would seem unlikely that the Seahawks would use anything but a late-round pick at that position, it wouldn't be that surprising to see them try to add some depth at safety either through a late-round pick or by signing an undrafted free agent after the draft. Ryan Neal, who played well in place of an injured Adams last season, gives the Seahawks a quality backup option should they need it, but with Damarious Randall moving from safety to cornerback, and with Marquise Blair and Ugo Amadi both focusing on the nickel role last season, the Seahawks don't have other safety depth beyond Neal unless one of those aforementioned versatile DBs were to move back to safety.

NFL.com's Top 5 Safeties

1. Trevon Moehrig, TCU

Overview (via NFL.com): Very talented height-weight-speed prospect with the range and ball skills to become an impact defender at the next level. Moehrig possesses the overall talent to play in a variety of coverages, including over the slot against big targets, but his talent might be best served as a high safety where his instincts and anticipation lead him to the football. He's a talented ball tracker with soft hands and does a very good job of maintaining balance and positioning to make a play. While he can strike like a pro, he's not always a knock-back tackler and his inconsistent angles to ball-carriers present a bit of a concern as a last line of defense. His 2019 tape was a little better than 2020, but he has the talent and traits to become a good starter early in his career.

2. Jamar Johnson, Indiana

Overview (via NFL.com): Ascending defensive back offering coverage and positional versatility for today's brand of NFL football. Johnson offers enough field fluidity to cover the slot and showed off impressive instincts and ball skills to excite teams about his potential as a high safety. His combination of vision, field awareness and instincts usually have him in the right place at the right time. Johnson is willing as a tackler, but needs to clean up his technique and approach to bolster his run support for the next level. His high football IQ should aid his transition to pro football as a future starter with a strong upside.

3. Jevon Holland, Oregon

Overview (via NFL.com): Versatile defensive back with good size, above-average instincts and impressive ball skills. Holland plays with good pattern recognition and anticipation underneath. He has the ball greed and competitiveness to make contested catches a challenge for opponents. He's willing and able in run support near the line of scrimmage, giving him value as a big nickel, but he lacks recovery burst and will struggle if he's matched one-on-one with speed from the slot. He has the football IQ and ball skills to handle split-safety duties but needs to continue fine-tuning his tackling technique. His added value as a punt returner should push him up the board a few spots.

4. Richie Grant, UCF

Overview (via NFL.com): Grant offers versatility to play deep or down safety and has decent man-cover ability against matchup tight ends. He's at his best as a high safety, where he has an overview of the field. He can key quarterbacks and use his ballhawking tendencies to force turnovers. His play as a down safety was marked with bouts of coverage confusion from bunch sets and occasional busts. He's a willing, physical tackler but just average when asked to do it in the open field as a last line of defense. Grant's size and length were on full display at the Senior Bowl, where he put together a strong week. He followed that up with a good pro day workout. He has been a fast riser up the boards and should go on Day 2.

5. Divine Deablo, Virginia Tech

Overview (via NFL.com): Deablo has exceptional size and length. He also has a developing skill set that could make him a match for Cover 3 defenses at the Robber spot or as a hybrid player who's able to handle coverage duties and play near the line of scrimmage. While he has the strength and athletic ability to cover tight ends, he will need to improve his route recognition to make more plays on the football. Deablo has the demeanor to make a living in the box as a bigger body who can slow the run and be used as a matchup defender against teams running heavy 12 personnel. He has the potential to become a starter in the future.

NFL.com's rankings of the top safety prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.

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