Grading the Draft: Seattle Seahawks

nfl's picture

Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

The Seahawks traded down multiple times and ended up with 11 selections. Their draft is a collection of players that offers great upside but a lot of risk as well.


Malik McDowell


Michigan State


Ethan Pocic




Shaquill Griffin




Delano Hill




Nazair Jones


North Carolina


Amara Darboh




Tedric Thompson




Mike Tyson




Justin Senior


Mississippi State


David Moore


East Central


Chris Carson


Oklahoma State

UDFA Signings: Skyler Howard, QB, West Virginia; Hayden Plinke, TE, UTEP; Tyrone Swoopes, TE, Texas; Jordan Roos, G, Purdue; Tony Bridges, DB, Ole Miss; Darreus Rogers, WR, USC; Algernon Brown, FB, BYU; Jordan Simone, WR, Arizona State; Otha Peters, LB, Louisiana-Lafayette; Calvin Steyn, OL, Weber State; Nick Usher, LB, UTEP

After his sophomore season in 2015, Malik McDowell was universally graded as a first-round pick, yet I was surprised many stamped him with that same grade after his disappointing campaign in 2016. There were several reasons for McDowell's uninspired play last season. Most prominent in my opinion was the fact that he was lined up out of position at defensive end.

McDowell rightfully gets a rep as an underachiever and a lineman that often turns it on and off. Considering the leadership in the Seahawks locker room and the way the coaching staff has developed players, selecting McDowell with the third selection of Round 2 was worth the gamble. He can dominate the line of scrimmage when motivated and used correctly, two things I believe the Seahawks will accomplish with McDowell.

Ethan Pocic was all over draft boards, as teams are split on where he'll line up at the next level. Is he a center? A guard? A right tackle? Pocic is a big, tough lineman who leads by example. Like McDowell he offers great upside, and his best football is ahead of him.

I was more than gratified to see Shaquill Griffin snatched up by the Seahawks in Round 3, as Draft Analyst was possibly the only place that had Griffin ranked that high. As I stated numerous times prior to the draft, I knew Griffin had next-level ball skills after watching him as a sophomore in 2014. Speed was the only question, which he answered at the combine. I have faith that the Seahawks coaching staff will extract the best from him and would not be surprised to see Griffin start in the future.

Delano Hill was another good football player who ran better than expected in the lead-up to the draft. He's a versatile safety who can play in a zone scheme, traditional scheme or lined up over the slot receiver. Hill's ball skills are much better than advertised.

In many ways Nazair Jones is a poor man's McDowell; he’s a talented lineman who dominates opponents -- when he wants to. Jones is not the playmaker McDowell is but comes with a large upside.

Amara Darboh was good value in the third round, and like many of their other selections he has great upside. Darboh really improved his game in 2016 and started to translate his great athleticism into football production. He should only improve as he becomes more experienced.

Seattle took another pair of safeties in Rounds 4 and 6.

There were mixed opinions on Tedric Thompson, though we had him stamped as a fourth-rounder all along. He's an aggressive downhill safety who covers the pass well between the numbers. Thompson also brings a special-teams mentality.

Mike Tyson is an intriguing selection. He comes with next-level size and speed and terrific production against the pass to complement his physical skills. Tyson is more of a strong safety but has all the tools to play at the next level.

Fellow sixth-rounder Justin Senior is a powerful tackle with nice size but is immobile and only effective in a small area.

While we posted a scouting report on receiver David Moore, I am a bit surprised he was drafted. Moore was a terrific possession wideout on the small-school level who comes with excellent size. He's marginally quick and lacks a burst, which will make separating at the next level difficult.

Final selection Chris Carson is a solid downhill ball carrier with rare athleticism. He has enough ability to make a roster as a fourth running back.

The Seahawks signed several intriguing players after the draft, but none as intriguing as Algernon Brown. The fierce lead blocker comes with exceptional size and speed and plays with a punishing style. He's equally adept at handling the ball as well as blocking for ball carriers, and despite coming off a disappointing season he has next-level potential.

Analysis: For most teams this would be a draft that takes a franchise to the next level, but that’s the level where Seattle already resides. If they get these players to hit on all cylinders there will be a lot of production coming from this collection of players, either in Seattle or with another organization. The potential downside prevents me from giving a perfect grade. Grade: A