The Seattle Seahawks surprised many with a playoff berth in 2018, but how much can they improve with just four selections in the 2019 NFL Draft?
On draft day, the team with the most draft capital is typically the one with the best chance to drastically improve their respective roster for the upcoming season. That’s where things get tricky for the Seattle Seahawks.
While not many expected Seattle to make the playoffs in 2018 during a “rebuild” year, as some would say, they did just that and now must find a way to keep pace with fellow divisional foe and NFC champion, the Los Angeles Rams.
We all know GM John Schneider’s penchant for trading down in the draft, but it’s all the more relevant this year, as the Seahawks enter with just four selections as a result of several trades over the past couple seasons. With no picks in the second, fifth, or sixth rounds, Seattle will need to get creative in order to re-tool its roster heading into next season.
Schneider has already admitted that he doesn’t expect the Seahawks to walk away from the draft having only selected four times, but that doesn’t make these mock drafts any less difficult. There are still a number of needs across the board and with the potential free agent departures of Earl Thomas (all but a foregone conclusion), J.R. Sweezy, D.J. Fluker, and Justin Coleman, their needs could be even further accelerated.
For the purposes of this mock, we’ll take a look at prospects the team may target and the general range they may be selected. There are plenty of prospects I believe the team likes and will explore the trades down the board necessary to land more picks, but here’s how the board could shake out with just their current four selections:
After focusing on rebuilding the running game in 2018, the Seahawks could turn their attention to the passing game. They have already been linked to a number of wide receivers during the draft process but one player who could be an excellent fit is Stanford’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
Arcega-Whiteside has a fascinating backstory (something the Seahawks often love in their draft prospects) as the son of two former professional basketball players, and also happened to be a pretty good high school basketball player himself. After redshirting during his first year at Stanford in 2015, Arcega-Whiteside slowly turned himself into the Cardinal’s go-to wideout, especially in the red zone.
Arcega-Whiteside (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) is at his best in the red zone and uses his basketball background to box out opposing defensive backs with ease. He displays an innate ability to high-point the football, even with opposing defenders draped all over him. While he doesn’t have blazing deep speed, he’s a better athlete than people give him credit for, particularly at his size.
The Seahawks failed to find a true red zone target last season following the departure of Jimmy Graham, which they briefly attempted to mitigate with the signing of Brandon Marshall. With Tyler Lockett coming off his best season as a pro and Doug Baldwin returning from offseason surgery, adding Arcega-Whiteside would add some more potency to the Seattle passing attack.