Seahawks mock draft: How Seattle can finish rebuilding its core in the draft
The Seahawks will likely put the finishing touches on their roster in the NFL draft at the end of April. With seven picks, including three in the first two rounds, the Hawks have an opportunity to catapult themselves from a playoff contender to Super Bowl favorites.
I have been creating a mock draft every day since the beginning of January, selecting each of the Hawks’ picks using the mock draft machines from Pro Football Network and The Draft Network. The following mock draft is my favorite of the 65 mock drafts I’ve completed (so far).
March 31: ProFootballNetwork.com
• Round 1 (No. 27): Austin Jackson, OT, USC
• Round 2 (59): Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
• Round 2 (64): Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
• Round 3 (100): Lloyd Cushenberry, C, LSU
• Round 4 (130): Kenny Willekes, DE, Michigan State
• Round 4 (143): Zack Moss, RB, Utah
• Round 6 (213): Trajan Bandy, CB, Miami (Fla.)
In this scenario, the Seahawks would land four potential Day 1 starters. While this draft lacks the impact edge rusher that Seattle has been looking for since trading Frank Clark last year, the Seahawks would be leaning into the “best player available” strategy.
Selecting Clemson star wide receiver Tee Higgins would give Seattle an elite pass catcher to team with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. After adding tight end Greg Olsen in free agency, the Seahawks could then claim to have one of the top five pass catching arsenals in the NFL.
“Two rookie starters on the offensive line? Come on, Howdy! We’ve seen that before.”
Trust me: it’s going to be different this time.
The Tom Cable era is in the past. The Seahawks use an entirely different blocking scheme than they did when Cable was throwing draft picks into Lake Washington in an attempt to find a passable starting lineman. In this mock draft, the Hawks pick up one of the consensus top five offensive tackles available in USC’s Austin Jackson, who could compete with newcomer Brandon Shell at right tackle. Jackson could also be a natural candidate to move to the left side if and when Duane Brown decides to hang it up.
In a deep center draft, the Hawks get Lloyd Cushenberry, Joe Burrow’s first-team All-SEC center, in the third round. That frees up the Seahawks to release Justin Britt and use the salary cap savings to sign back Jadeveon Clowney.
Oklahoma defensive tackle Neville Gallimore is thought to be a high-ceiling interior pass rush prospect. At 6 foot 2 and over 300 pounds, Gallimore has been listed as an option for the Seahawks’ first-round pick over the past few months by multiple draft experts. Getting him at the end of the second round would be a Jarran Reed-level steal.
Michigan State pass rusher Kenny Willekes is a try-hard defensive end who may not have the elite athleticism that a few of the top pass rushers have but should be able to contribute right away as a backup to Bruce Irvin and L.J. Collier.
Running back Zack Moss could be a plug-and-play, hard-nosed runner to pair with Chris Carson and give the Hawks some flexibility while Rashaad Penny recovers from surgery. Drafting a reliable high-volume runner gives the Seahawks another option for the future, as Carson could be looking for a large contract at the end of the season when his contract expires.
Cornerback Trajan Bandy would give the Seahawks another option at nickel corner to compete with Ugo Amadi, as well as a cost-effective special teams player on the outside.
With an offseason of moves finished by these draft picks, I believe the Seahawks could legitimately enter the season the favorite to come out of the NFC. And what’s more, they may be finished rebuilding the core of the team to capitalize on Russell Wilson’s prime.
Check 710Sports.com later this week as Brock Huard will break down each of these picks from the mock draft.
More Seahawks offseason coverage
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• Salk: Why the Seahawks can’t just ‘move on’ from Jadeveon Clowney
• Clayton: Seahawks playing waiting game on Clowney, who misread market
• Seahawks Takeaways: Breaking down the Benson Mayowa signing
• Seahawks 2020 offseason tracker