The 2016 NFL Draft kicks off one month from today in Chicago, where the Seahawks will hold nine total selections, including the No. 26 and No. 56 overall picks.
With those first two picks, ESPN's Todd McShay mocks a pair of Alabama products to Seattle, projecting the Seahawks to target defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson in round one and running back Derrick Henry in round two.
"Robinson could last a little longer than expected due to his inconsistent motor and lower-body stiffness," McShay writes in his latest mock. "But Robinson's raw ability is undeniable, and he appears unblockable at times. Plus, he comes with great durability, playing in all 43 games during his Alabama career. Any team that takes him in the first round will [be] placing a large bet on its defensive line coach's ability to maximize Robinson's unique skill set."
Seattle was able to retain veteran defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin in free agency and also added defensive tackle Sealver Siliga on the open market, but the club could look to bolster the spot further after losing starting nose tackle Brandon Mebane to the San Diego Chargers. Last week at the NFL Annual Meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll commented on his team potentially drafting a player at the position.
"Fortunately, in this draft, too, there's a lot of defensive tackle prospects, and maybe we're fortunate enough to nail a guy somewhere throughout the draft," Carroll said, via ESPN. "That would be something we'll be watching. I think a lot of teams will be. There's just an attraction to that spot this year. There happens to be more guys than we can ever remember that are graded highly enough to be drafted. So it'll be a good spot in the draft."
At running back, Thomas Rawls looks to move into the starting role vacated by Marshawn Lynch, who announced his retirement during Super Bowl 50. Behind Rawls, who's coming off an ankle injury that ended his rookie season early, is fourth-year pro Christine Michael, who re-signed with Seattle in free agency after rejoining the team late last season. This past weekend, GM John Schneider said the Seahawks know they're "going to have some other guys in the mix" at the position outside of Rawls and Michael. McShay thinks Henry, last year's Heisman Trophy winner, is a player Seattle should consider.
"This is a straight-line explosive back, and you see it on tape," McShay writes. "Henry has a ridiculous size-speed combo, running a 4.54 40 at 247 pounds. His game is really about getting downhill. He's a bulldozer when he gets going."
The ESPN Insider isn't the only one predicting a Crimson Tide player to land in the Pacific Northwest on April 28. Here's a look at the most recent first-round mock drafts from around the web, where both Robinson and Henry are mentioned as possible options for the Seahawks:
Charles Davis, NFL.com: NT Kenny Clark, UCLA
Analysis: Pete Carroll does not mind using his big guys both inside and at DE in 3-4 schemes. The loss of Brandon Mebane is eased with this selection and some work in free agency.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: OT Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech
Analysis: Sure, Clark has some gaping holes in his pass protection that will take some time and coaching to smooth out, but he has rare physical traits and enough upside that he could step in and start early on for the Seahawks, especially when you consider that Russell Wilson has the talent to cover up for inconsistent protection.
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
Analysis: A tall, long press corner with 4.4 speed. Sounds like a good fit for Pete Carroll's defense to me.
Nate Davis, USA Today: DT A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama
Analysis: Excellent value if he actually lasts this long for a team that needs to start rebuilding the D-line depth that was such a crucial component of its Super Bowl runs.
Chris Burke, SI.com: CB William Jackson, Houston
Analysis: A 6-foot cornerback with length and a sub-4.4 40 time. In other words, don't be stunned if Jackson winds up leapfrogging Hargreaves and/or Alexander come Round 1. He can be the starter Seattle needs opposite Richard Sherman, with Jeremy Lane returning to tackle the slot.
Dan Kadar, SB Nation: OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State
Analysis: Conklin dropping in the draft is the ideal scenario for the Seahawks, who suddenly have a hole at left tackle. Although Conklin isn't a standout athlete on the field, he provides a nasty temperament and powerful blocking.
Peter Schrager, FOX Sports: OT Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M
Analysis: Ifedi is an intriguing prospect who has first-round grades for most teams. He's 6-foot-6, can move, and has 36-inch arms. Russell Okung is in Denver. Seattle fans watched Carolina's defense destroy their O-line for a half in the divisional round last year. Ifedi's a starter.
Rob Rang, CBSSports.com: OG Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
Analysis: Just two years removed from their championship run, the Seahawks are essentially starting over along the offensive line with zero of the starting five blockers from Super Bowl XLVIII still on the roster. The cap-challenged Seahawks may be forced to look to the draft for reinforcements. A four-year starter with experience all over the offensive line, Whitehair possesses the versatility, toughness and dependability this club is lacking up front. Further, the Seahawks will know the Wildcats well after striking gold with rookie Pro Bowler Tyler Lockett a year ago.
Will Brinson, CBSSports.com: RB Derrick Henry, Alabama
Analysis:* Pete Carroll from the top rope! Pete Carroll from the top rope!!! The Seahawks blow the draft wide open by taking a powerful running back to replace Marshawn Lynch. Thomas Rawls fantasy owners cringe, but what a one-two punch the Seahawks have the next three years minimum.*
Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com: OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana
Analysis: Seattle has several question marks on the offensive line, and left tackle Russell Okung is a free agent. Spriggs has core strength issues, but his frame and athleticism will be extremely appealing for teams with needs on the offensive line.
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com: OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana
Analysis: Russell Okung is gone to Denver, so they need a left tackle. This is a kid with a ton of athletic ability who could step in and start as a rookie.
Jared Dubin, CBSSports.com: OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State
Analysis: The Seahawks offensive line exodus continued with Russell Okung heading to Denver ... They've got to have somebody protect Russell Wilson's blind side.