With the NFL Draft coming up, 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.
The Seahawks currently hold 8 picks in the 2018 draft, which begins April 26 in Dallas.
Seattle's 2018 Draft Picks: Round 1, Pick 18, No. 18 overall; Round 4, Pick 20, No. 120 overall; Round 5, Pick 4, No. 141 overall; Round 5, Pick 9, No. 146 overall; Round 5, Pick 19, No. 156 overall; Round 5, Pick 31, No. 168 overall; Round 7, Pick 8, No. 226 overall; Round 7, Pick 30, No. 248 overall
Today we kick things off with a look at the offensive line. Tomorrow we'll turn our attention to the other side of the ball and focus on the defensive line.
Draft History Under Schneider and Carroll: T Russell Okung (No. 6 overall, 2010); G James Carpenter (No. 25, 2011); G John Moffitt (No. 75, 2011); G J.R. Sweezy (No. 225, 2012); G Ryan Seymour (No. 220, 2013); G Jared Smith (No. 241, 2013); T Michael Bowie (No. 242, 2013); T Justin Britt (No. 64, 2014); T Garrett Scott (No. 199, 2014); T Terry Poole (No. 130, 2015); G Mark Glowinski (No. 134, 2015); G/C Kristjan Sokoli (No. 214, 2015); G/T Germain Ifedi (No. 31, 2016); G/T Rees Odhiambo (No. 97, 2016); C Joey Hunt (No. 215, 2016); C/G Ethan Pocic (No. 58, 2017); T Justin Senior (No. 210, 2017)
Where the Seahawks Stand
The Seahawks struggled to find consistency with their line play last year, which at times showed up both in the running game and in pass protection, but Carroll and company see reasons for optimism heading into 2018. For starters, the hope is that a change on the coaching staff, hiring Mike Solari as the new line coach, can help make a difference. And free-agent addition D.J. Fluker is also expected to add physicality and toughness if he is able to win the starting job at right guard. But another reason Carroll expects to see improvement is that there could be a level of continuity with that group that the team hasn't had in recent years.
Duane Brown arrived in a midseason trade and played very well last year, but after joining the team midway through the season, then battling through a high-ankle sprain for much of the season, he wasn't able to fully make his mark on the team last year, both as a player and as a veteran leader. Even so, he played well enough to make his fourth Pro-Bowl appearance, but with Brown healthy and having a full offseason with the team, Carroll is counting on Brown being an even more important player in 2018. Next to him, Ethan Pocic could be an option at left guard having started there and at right guard as a rookie. Justin Britt is heading into his third year at center and fifth year as a starter, and Germain Ifedi is heading into his third season and second year at right tackle. Other players on the roster and any draft additions will create competition for those starting jobs, but if the Seahawks want to have continuity on their line, they have the players in place to do just that.
"We haven't had a guy like Duane Brown in some time," Carroll said at the league meetings. "Duane coming back is a great plus. He barely got started with us last year, then he got hurt and struggled through an ankle and all of that. But his return, the consistency that he brings, the experience that he brings, the toughness that he brings. The growth of Ifedi on the other side—he's going to get better, he's going to make a big jump. I think the best thing that ever happened to him is there's a transition here for him where he can get a new start and really get going with (new offensive line coach) Mike Solari. Britt is going to be the best he has been, Pocic is going to be better than he has been, then D.J. coming in. Then there's George Fant returning to us. George was really poised to have a bigtime second year, and he has had a fantastic offseason working, I see him every day in the building, so he's going to factor into the competition."
Seattle's draft history suggests they'll add help to the line—they've drafted more players at that position group than any other under Carroll and Schneider, including three first-round picks and two second-rounders—but based on Carroll's comments this offseason, the Seahawks feel like they have the makings of a good group already on the roster even before adding help in the draft.
"This is the best we've been in some time," Carroll said. "A little quietly it's emerging that it's a very good group and it's going to be one that we're going to look forward to seeing some real progress made… It hasn't been mentioned that much, but we feel like we have continuity. We haven't said that in so many years, but we feel like we have some continuity on the offensive line, so we're looking forward to it."
Check out which players NFL Media Draft Analyst Mike Mayock pegs as the top offensive tackles in the 2018 NFL Draft.
NFL Media Draft Analyst Mike Mayock's Top 5 Offensive Tackles
1. Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
Overview (via NFL.com): McGlinchey will need to add more strength and mass to his athletic frame in order to hold up against NFL power, but his technique and instincts are pro-ready. He could be a polarizing prospect based on inconsistencies from his tape, but he gets guys blocked at a much higher rate than he loses his rep. McGlinchey should become an early starter at either tackle position, but his ability to handle bull rushers and power at the point of attack will define the type of career he has.
2. Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
Overview (via NFL.com): Tackle with poor athlete traits, but rare size and length whose massive frame can work for him in pass protection and against him in the run game. Brown is a waist-bender with shoddy footwork and a tendency to play too straight-legged. These physical limitations create a much smaller likelihood for recovery once he's beaten. With that all said, he typically gets guys blocked and he clearly understands how to use his size and length to his advantage. Brown's physical traits and nasty demeanor give him a chance to become a decent starting right tackle if he can be coached to lessen his physical deficiencies and can keep his weight in check.
3. Connor Williams, Texas
Overview (via NFL.com): Williams has been a personal favorite since studying his freshman season, but his 2017 tape didn't match his previous body of work. Williams seemed to lose some lateral quickness and had troubles holding up at a high level in protection. A move to guard or center is a possibility depending on how his arm length measures out. Williams is a plus run blocker with plug-and-play technique across the board. If he regains his 2016 form, he will be a good NFL starter. If not, he'll be an average NFL starter.
4. Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
Overview (via NFL.com): Evaluators may stick with Crosby at right tackle in the pros, but his issues with hip tightness and gaining enough ground to the edge in pass protection may force a move inside to guard sooner rather than later. Crosby has technical issues to smooth out, but he will appeal to teams who covet size, length and strength as he puts big checkmarks in those boxes. Crosby is a bulldozer who can generate good movement in the run game, but he lacks the body control for desired consistency at tackle or guard. He has NFL starting talent but he may have a limited ceiling.
T-5. Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State
Overview (via NFL.com): As a left tackle, Rankin will struggle with edge speed and as a right tackle he may have issues as a run blocker handling the power he will face. While he offers tackle flexibility and may get an early look at right tackle, his best position might be at center where his instincts and intelligence will stand out. The further Rankin kicks inside the better he will be. He may be average as a tackle or guard, but he could become a good NFL starter if he gets his shot at center.
T-5. Kolton Miller, UCLA
Overview (via NFL.com): Miller is an exceptionally tall tackle prospect who lacks the flexibility in his hips to drop his pad level and play with better leverage and a stronger base. His lateral movements in his pass slides are segmented and there are reps that he has to completely break from his technique to chase edge rushers to the corner. What Miller does have is athletic ability that is above average for the position and he showed improvement as the season wore on. He has the physical traits to become an above average NFL starter, but he'll need to improve his pass pro technique and become a better finisher in the run game.
Check out which players NFL Media Draft Analyst Mike Mayock pegs as the top interior offensive linemen in the 2018 NFL Draft.
NFL Media Draft Analyst Mike Mayock's Top 5 Interior Offensive Linemen
1. Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Overview (via NFL.com): Elite guard prospect with outstanding size, rare power and a block finisher who can make tape room sessions uncomfortable for most opponents. Nelson is technically sound and is unlikely to face a long adjustment period once he gets into the league. Nelson may need to make sure and keep his play speed high and prevent against taking his eyes off of his target when coming off the ball. Nelson has the traits and talent to become an All-Pro guard for years to come.
2. Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
Overview (via NFL.com): Wynn is a talented, technically sound block-winner with a demeanor that offensive line coaches will love. His athleticism allows for quick advantages as a run blocker while his hand strength and footwork helps him sustain those advantages into open running lanes. His plus pass protection will be appealing to teams looking for help in that area and he is capable of sliding out to tackle in an emergency. He appears to have the technique and play traits to overcome any concerns about size and could become an early starter.
3. James Daniels, Iowa
Overview (via NFL.com): Daniels is a fluid mover with tremendous initial quickness to win positioning on most every zone block he's asked to make -- both on the first and second levels. His height, weight and arm length numbers at the Combine will be critical in either solidifying his draft slot or potentially dropping him a round. Some teams might see him as a zone-only center, but he may be strong enough to fit in with other blocking schemes. He needs to get stronger, but he's a plus run blocker and pass protector with a chance to become a Pro Bowl starter.
4. Will Hernandez, UTEP
Overview (via NFL.com): Four-year starter at left guard and the most highly-decorated offensive linemen in UTEP history. Hernandez possesses a rare combination of power, balance, and athletic ability. He is a plus run blocker with the anchor and footwork to handle himself in pass protection as well. Though he lacks height and length teams would like, it shouldn't hurt his stock much. Hernandez did nothing but help his cause at the Combine and he has a great shot of going in the first round and becoming a Pro-Bowl caliber guard.
5. Billy Price, Ohio State
Overview (via NFL.com): Plays like a Wildling at times with tremendous explosiveness, strength and, almost excessive initial charge. Price's power and leverage give him a huge advantage over most centers in this draft. He should be able to come into the league and deal with NFL power right away. However, his impatience as a blocker and tendency to charge in head-first will be used against him by savvy NFL opponents if he doesn't get it cleaned up. Price should be a good, early starter.