Seahawks potential picks: C Hroniss Grasu

Apr 14, 2015, 3:49 PM | Updated: Apr 8, 2016, 10:50 am
Hroniss Grasu was a four-year starter at center in Oregon’s zone-blocking scheme. (AP)...
Hroniss Grasu was a four-year starter at center in Oregon's zone-blocking scheme. (AP)
(AP)
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Draft analyst Dan Shonka of Ourlads.com offered up a couple names when he joined “The John Clayton Show” Saturday and discussed possibilities with the Seahawks’ second- and third-round picks.

We took a look earlier at USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor, whom Shonka has penciled in as the Seahawks’ selection with their first pick, No. 63 overall.

Next up: Oregon center Hroniss Grasu, the player Shonka mentioned as a possibility for Seattle with the 95th pick.

Overview. He was a four-year starter at Oregon and was twice a finalist for the Rimington Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top center. This scouting report from Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com compares Grasu to none other than former Seahawks center Max Unger, another Oregon product.

Shonka’s take. He said this year’s draft is “really lean” at center, so much so that it’s possible only five or six of them get drafted. In that case, will Grasu still be available by the time Seattle makes the 95th pick?

Level of need: high. The Seahawks parted with Unger, their Pro Bowl starter, in the Jimmy Graham trade. They lost one potential replacement when Stephen Schilling retired while another, Lemuel Jeanpierre, is an unrestricted free agent who remains unsigned. Patrick Lewis and Jared Wheeler are the only centers on Seattle’s roster. Wheeler didn’t appear in a regular-season game as a rookie in 2014 while Lewis was one of three players to start at center for Seattle last year in Unger’s absence. While he played well enough to merit consideration for the starting role now that it’s up for grabs, Seattle isn’t going to hand it to him without bringing in other options via the draft and/or free agency. There are some veteran centers still available, including Stefen Wisniewski and Chris Myers, who have both visited the Seahawks. But as it stands now, center is as big of a need as any on Seattle’s roster.

Grasu’s fit. There’s an inherent difficulty in projecting how offensive linemen from spread systems in college will fare at the NFL level, something Shonka and Clayton discussed around the 5:15 mark of their conversation. However, Oregon’s spread offense featured the zone-blocking scheme – which is what Seattle runs – and Rang’s scouting report on Grasu notes that his agility makes him a good fit for such a system.

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