INDIANAPOLIS—The Seahawks have been a difficult team to predict when it comes to the draft, and guessing what a team will do late in the first round is even trickier because there are so many variables in play before their pick comes up.
All of that being said, it's still fun this time of year to look ahead and try to guess at what might happen in next month's draft. With that in mind, we surveyed a handful of national media members and draft experts at the NFL Scouting Combine this week to see what they think the Seahawks might do with the 26th pick in this year's draft.
Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
"Offensive line is obviously an area of concern for them, so I think there's likely to be a couple of tackles that make sense. If it's going to be a tackle, then I think Garett Bolles from Utah has the athletic ability that they prefer. I also am very intrigued by Cam Robinson from Alabama. He played left tackle for the Tide, but I think he projects better at right tackle or guard in the NFL. He has the length and power that they prefer. There's a couple of other guys who really intrigue me who we don't necessarily see in the first round of mock drafts, but I think will be rising up the board as we go. One of them is Temple's Dion Dawkins, he really impressed at the Senior Bowl with his willingness to go inside and play guard. And he really impressed at the Combine with his athletic ability and power. He kind of fits into a lot of the thresholds the Seahawks prefer.
"Cornerback has to be a position of concern for them, and there are some guys in this draft that have the length that Seattle prefers, but several of them are first-round kind of guys like Marlon Humphrey from Alabama, where if you don't take them early, then you're left with guys in late rounds that I don't know are necessarily going to be able to come in and contribute early. So Humphrey is one, Quincy Wilson from Florida has the physicality that they like—I don't know that he has quite the height—so those are the two guys who immediately jump out to me, and Kevin King from Washington as a possible option in the second round."
Tom Pelissero, USA Today
"Offensive line is the obvious one. I think they're more confident in some of their young players internally than a lot of people on the outside are. When you play a basketball player at left tackle immediately and you're playing young guys inside, there's going to be some natural growing pains. Having said that, they do need to invest further in that unit, as they did a year ago drafting Ifedi.
"I think corner is a substantial need for them, especially depending on how things shake out with DeShawn Shead. I don't think they'll take a running back in the first, but I think they'll continue to draft at that position too, because if last season proved anything, it's that you can have Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise and other guys, but when injuries hit, you need to keep having those guys around to be able to help."
Jason LaCanfora, CBSSports.com
"All things being equal, offensive line. It's not a secret, John has talked about it a lot, I'm on the radio there every week, they ask me about offensive line all the time. Now does it have to be in the first round? No. These guys are great evaluators, they find value all over the place, and they're never going to sway from taking what they think is the best potential impact player with this pick, regardless of position, regardless of what the roster looks like at this snapshot right now. But they're going to draft a few offensive linemen, I don't think anybody would dispute that."
Albert Breer, TheMMQB.com
"Obviously the offensive line need is still there. They invested a lot in the draft last year there, so you certainly could see them spend a high pick on another offensive lineman. The problem is that there's not a lot of great ones in this year's draft class.
"That's the one crying need on the roster, elsewhere it looks like they're pretty good; I don't think there's a glaring need. I think with that in mind, you start to look at, 'Do we add a defensive back? Do we add another pass rusher? Do we add some receiver help?' The big thing is for the Seahawks, outside of offensive line where there is a need, I think you're in good enough shape roster-wise to start to look at places where you're older and maybe get guys in who could come in and not play a ton their first couple of years and develop behind an older veteran."
Danny Kelly, TheRinger.com
"The Seahawks' most glaring need is still the offensive line, and if Wisconsin's Ryan Ramczyk, Utah's Garrett Bolles, Alabama's Cam Robinson, or Western Kentucky's Forrest Lamp is sitting there at 26, they'll have to consider pulling the trigger. But with DeShawn Shead's status for the beginning of the year up in the air, Seattle could pick a cornerback earlier than they ever have under John Schneider and Pete Carroll, especially if Alabama's Marion Humphrey, Florida's Teez Tabor, or Washington's Sidney Jones are still on the board at that spot toward the end of the first round. The Seahawks could take a look at this deep and talented safety class early on too—and finding a long-term replacement for Kam Chancellor—if LSU's Jamal Adams somehow falls, run to the podium—or an immediate nickel/dime contributor and backup for Earl Thomas, like Washington's Budda Baker, could be a high priority."
Doug Farrar, BleacherReport.com
"Offensive line is obvious. One guy I love for them, and his combine workout will probably put him in the first round, is Forrest Lamp from Western Kentucky."
"Another thing they really need to look at is safety. Earl Thomas isn't replaceable, but this is an amazing class for safeties. We all know about Budda Baker at Washington, (Jamal) Adams, Jabrill Peppers—you kind of have to figure out what he's going to be—but they need, in a Cover 1, Cover 3 defense, that deep cover guy… Outside of Russell (Wilson), Thomas might be their most impactful player, because he was even more impactful in his absence."
With the 2017 NFL Combine underway, take a look back at some current Seahawks at their own NFL Combines.