The Seattle Seahawks only have three selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, putting them at a disadvantage in the hyper-competitive NFC West. Star quarterback Russell Wilson also expressed his displeasure with the organization’s decision-making this offseason. Seattle’s front office can’t afford to fail this draft.
Pete Carroll and John Schneider are still living off their draft successes from a decade ago. The organization selected multiple Pro Bowlers in 2010, 2011, and 2012. They’ve only added four Pro Bowlers since then. While Wilson and Bobby Wagner keep Seattle in playoff contention each year, the roster isn’t nearly as strong as it once was.
The Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers should emerge from the offseason better than last year. Even the Arizona Cardinals went 8-8 in 2020 and almost made the playoffs. If the Seahawks take a step back or fail to continue improving, they could tumble out of first place and into the division’s basement.
I used The Draft Network’s mock draft machine and Pro Football Focus’ mock draft simulator to justify each of my selections. At least one website had the chosen players available at their listed spots over several simulations. I didn’t generate any trades and included an “ideal pick” after every selection for optimistic fans. You know who I’m talking about; the ones that mock their team all of the best players at unrealistic picks.
Round 2 (No. 56): Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB Syracuse
The Seahawks could also have their pick of Tyson Campbell, Jabril Cox, and Jalen Mayfield. Levi Onwuzurike and Eric Stokes were occasionally available at 56 on the PFF simulator. Stokes is the pick if he falls that far, but there’s also a chance the Georgia standout goes in the first-round. Meanwhile, Melifonwu is a lock to go on Day 2.
At 6-2, 205 lbs., Melifonwu has the prototypical size NFL teams love. He also possesses good length and explosiveness for the position. My biggest concern with Melifonwu is his speed and agility in short spaces. The Syracuse product thrived in zone while with the Orange, but he has the gifts to play press man in the NFL.
Seattle’s current cornerback depth consists of Ugochukwu Amadi, Tre Flowers, D.J. Reed, and Ahkello Witherspoon. Only Flowers has recent full-time starting experience in that group, and he got torched throughout the 2020 season. The Seahawks can’t turn down a top seven cornerback in this draft class, even if Wilson wants help on offense.
Ideal pick: Dillon Radunz, OT North Dakota St.
Round 4 (No. 129): Brady Christensen, OT BYU
The offensive tackle class is deep this year, which means someone like Christensen could fall out of the top 120 picks. The likelihood of Christensen’s tumble increased when he measured in with sub-33-inch arms at BYU’s pro day. The left tackle smashed his agility, speed, and strength tests, but the tape reveals a player that doesn’t generate much movement up front.
Christensen plays below the athletic level his testing numbers indicate. He doesn’t have the superior mobility to handle crafty speed rushers and doesn’t possess great hand placement. However, there’s no reason why Christensen can’t step in as a sixth offensive lineman during his rookie season. Injuries or poor play might even open some starting time.
Ideal pick: Kelvin Joseph, CB Kentucky
Round 7 (No. 250): Thomas Graham Jr., CB Oregon
The Seahawks aren’t a good enough team to only have three draft picks. Organizations fill needs in free agency and wants in the draft, but the Seahawks have many wants. While the team made numerous quality signings that improved its capabilities, the other NFC West teams have a significantly easier path to improvement because of their draft assets.
Seattle wants some extra power along the defensive line’s interior. The offensive line needs some work too, and a third receiver could go a long way. Most impact players at those positions won’t make it to the seventh-round. Graham is the best Seattle can do for this spot. He offers more value than any of the prospects that fit equally pressing needs.
There’s a good chance that Graham and a quality third receiver like Cornell Powell don’t even make it to 250.
Ideal pick: Cornell Powell, WR Clemson