Brock Huard’s draft prospects that fit what the Seahawks need
We’re just over a week away from the 2020 NFL Draft and as it currently stands, the Seahawks hold seven picks including the 27th overall pick and two second-round selections.
Seattle went 11-5 last season, earning the NFC’s fifth seed and won a playoff game. Star quarterback Russell Wilson, 31, is in the prime of his career and has played at an MVP level for the last two seasons and the team has some core pieces in place like receivers DK Metcalf ad Tyler Lockett, linebacker Bobby Wagner and defensive backs Shaquill Griffin and Quandre Diggs. How can the Seahawks capitalize and take the next step towards the franchise’s second Super Bowl title?
In the latest edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk Podcast, Mike Salk gave some attributes that Seattle and other teams look for in prospects and asked former NFL quarterback Brock Huard, who is a college football analyst for Fox Sports, to name some players that would fit those attributes while also being fits for the Seahawks.
Here were Huard’s selections based on what Salk was asking for.
Four players here at two very different positions. First up, two wide receivers that could be mid-round selections.
K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State
“He’s arguably, to my eye, when I saw him in person and I watched tape and I watched him on TV, just faster than everybody else. And for a team that wants to play defense and run the ball, you’ve got to be good on special teams … K.J. Hamler, he’s little. He’s 5’9, he (weighs) 178 (pounds). He didn’t run at the combine and Penn State’s pro day got knocked out, so there’s not an official (40-yard dash time), but (Penn State’s) internal numbers have him at a high 4.2/low 4.3-kind of guy and that speed translates on the field. If you want a slot (receiver) to go with Tyler Lockett and to go with DK Metcalf, and I know you signed Phillip Dorsett to a third-year deal, but if you want a guy maybe in the third round if he’s still hanging around in this unbelievably deep wide receiver class, that dude is lightning in a bottle.”
Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
“(He’s) an absolute jerk on the field who’s mean as hell. He’s 5’11, he’s 200 (pounds) and he was a world-class track guy in high school and in the state of Texas. He transitioned from an outside receiver into the slot and was one of the most productive (receivers) in college football a year ago … I wouldn’t (compare him to Kansas City Chiefs receiver) Tyreek Hill because that guy is just in a class of his own (athletically), but as far as straight speed that it just is stunning to your eye when you see it in person, I’d put Hamler (first) and I’d put Devin Duvernay out of Texas on that list as well.”
Next up were two of the faster players at a position not known for speed: defensive tackle.
Neville Galimore, DT, Oklahoma
“He’s 300 pounds and ran 4.73 at the combine (in the 40-yard dash). I saw him 10 times in college every time, I was intrigued and I was like ‘oh my gosh, this guy is just a freaky athlete. But he never took over games.”
Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M
“Phenomenal talent. (He’s a) 6’3, 293-pound D-tackle running 4.83 at the combine … (These two) are big dudes running freaky, freaky fast at D-tackle. That’s probably where the next position of having just an outlier for speed would come.”
710 ESPN Seattle’s Dave Wyman profiled Madubuike last week. You can find that story here.
If you don’t want to be faster, oftentimes you want to be bigger, mainly at the line of scrimmage.
Leki Fotu, DT, Utah
“Leki Fotu is 6’6, 330 pounds with unbelievable snap and bend … (He has) pure size that you want to put in the interior of your defensive line and change the space dynamic and not give up 5 yards a carry, Leki Fotu is probably a guy I’m a little biased of, but I loved his game at Utah and the force and the role that he plays.”
Isaiah Wilson, OL, Georgia
“He’s 6’7 and 350-pounds. He’s a redshirt-sophomore, so he (only had) three years of school. He played tackle, but he’s not a tackle, he’s a guard … in the NFL and is 6’7, 350 but is somehow pieced together and looks good.”
Michael Onwenu, OG, Michigan
“He’s probably a fifth- or sixth-rounder, but he’s 6’3 and he’s 350 pounds and those dudes (Wilson and Onwenu) played in systems where you didn’t have to project like you did with many of (former Seahawks offensive line coach) Tom Cable’s guys because they never put their hand in the ground. When you play at Georgia, when you play at Michigan … you know what it’s like to play at pad level, to play with leverage and lean into people and want and seek that violence and physical contact.”
Huard said that Duvernay and Hamler would both fall under this category and that there are far more playmakers on offense than defense in this draft.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
“The 4.38 (speed) Wisconsin running back.”
Huard talked more about why he likes Taylor to the Seahawks in a conversation with Danny and Gallant. That story is available here.
A.J. Dillon, RB, Boston College
“The 250-pound absolute bulldozer with low 4.5-speed out of Boston College.”
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
“We saw him at Ohio State just shred records and he’s an all-around running back.”
Grant Delpit, S, LSU
“He’s a 6’3, 212-poud ball hawking, Jim Thorpe Award-winning (safety who) knocks the ball away, takes the ball away and forces the ball away.”
James “Boy Howdy” Osborn noted that while the Seahawks don’t need a safety, Delpit has been projected to be drafted between picks 21 and 40, meaning the Seahawks could maybe land him at 27.
When the Seahawks were at their best defensively under head coach Pete Carroll, they were violent. The Legion of Boom secondary would knock people around and the defensive line played with a serious edge.
Defensive line, mainly edge rushers, is arguably the Seahawks’ top priority heading into the draft as defensive end Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned. Huard said the following three defensive ends play extremely violent.
Bradlee Anae, DE, Utah
“He’s probably a third-round pick. We’ll see. He did not test great – he ran a 4.9 40 and only jumped 31 inches (in the vertical). He’s 6’3, 253 and the dude is just violent and has a bunch of snap and will absolutely knock your block off.”
K’Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU
“He’s an interesting guy because you’re seeing in mocks, he’s (being selected) anywhere from 15 to kind of mid-20s. He’s 6’3, he’s 254. Think (former Seahawks defensive end) Cliff Avril-plus as far as athleticism and speed and burst and when you play at LSU, you’re going to be a violent guy.”
Jabari Zuniga, DE, Florida
“He’s another where if you were to just say ‘give me a violent guy, Brock, that you saw over the years in college football,’ he’d be another one I’d add to the list … At 6’3, 264 with some measurables, keep an eye on him.”
When the Seahawks make their first pick (unless they trade down, which they are known to do), it’s unclear if any pass rushers worth taking in the first round will be available. Chaisson is one of them, along with Chase Young from Ohio State, who is expected to be the second overall pick. After that, it’s a bit unclear.
“Maybe Yetur Gross-Matos, the guy out of Penn State who’s 6’5 and 256, (he and Chaisson) are kind of the ‘upper crust’ who could still be there in the mid 20s for you,” Huard said. “Outside of that, I’m in lockstep with you, Mike, I want violent. I want somebody where I don’t need to see any more Branden Jacksons or Rasheem Greens or these guys that I never saw as violent dudes in college. Give me some snap. Give me somebody where when they hit (their opponent’s) head snaps back. That’s Bradlee Anae and that’s Jabari Zuniga out of Florida.”
You can listen to the full Brock and Salk Podcast at this link or in the player below.
Seahawks draft coverage
• Which running back could Seattle select?
• Clayton: Seahawks always face tough road in draft as perennial playoff team
• Seahawks mock draft: Jake Heaps takes on GM role
• Wyman: Breaking down projected Seahawks pick DT Justin Madubuike
• Could Seattle take DEs Gross-Matos or Okwara?
• Moore: Ranking the Seahawks’ draft success round by round