The Super Bowl is over and now the entire NFL is in offseason-mode. One of the next big events I look forward to is the 2018 NFL Draft in April. It is one of the most exciting parts of the offseason because it is so full of uncertainty. Every college player who has declared for the draft could be the next big thing, regardless of how they did in college and the scouting reports on them.
Every year I see late round draft picks turn into some of the most dynamic players in the NFL. Just this year the leader in passing yards was Tom Brady, a sixth-round pick; the leader in rushing yards was Kareem Hunt, a third-round pick; Antonio Brown led the league in receiving as a sixth-round pick; and Kevin Byard led the league in interceptions, he was picked in the third-round.
Seattle has been good at finding playmakers later in the draft, so it would be no surprise to see them find another gem in the later rounds. They have a habit of trading their first picks for more later in the draft and rely on their scouts to find Kam Chancellor and Ricard Sherman type players.
Here are three positions of need the Seahawks have and some prospects I would like to see them draft. I am looking at running back, wide receiver and edge rusher for these picks because it would take too long to go through everybody. They are picked because of how I feel they would fit with the Seahawks and they are in the range of the Seahawks’ selections.
Sony Michel- Georgia
Michel largely played second fiddle to Nick Chubb in the University of Georgia backfield the past four seasons, but he has piled up very impressive numbers. We all saw how much more effective Michel was than Chubb in the championship game. He more than tripled Chubb’s yardage with four less touches.
He led the SEC in yards per carry this year at almost eight yards per tote. His explosion is extraordinary and the Seahawks could really use an influx of his playmaking ability.
Michel was used mainly as the speed to Chubb’s power but when given the opportunity he does not shy away from contact. Michel is a great athlete that can create his own space and does not only take what the defense gives him. He was not used much as a receiver this year, but over his career he proved he has natural hands and decent route running ability.
Seattle has been looking for a running back ever since Thomas Rawls regressed, and Michel could be a great addition to the backfield. He has had some problems fumbling in the past, but with some emphasis on ball handling I think he would clean that up.
Rashaad Penny- San Diego State
Penny has been one of my favorite players to watch for the past two years because he destroys opponents. He has video game numbers in some of his games that are astounding. On average over the past two years he gets seven and a half yards on every run play.
Penny returned kicks very efficiently during his career as well. In the past three years he has averaged over 30 yards per kick return and has seven kick return touchdowns. Penny has also returned two punts in his career and he scored a touchdown on one of them, proving he can score whenever he has the ball.
Penny posted six 200-yard rushing days in 2017, and five of them were in a row to end the season. He ended up doing so well he was 5th in the Heisman voting in 2017. This man can run the football. He could be a great playmaker to take the pressure off Russell Wilson, and possibly jump start the running game.
Dante Pettis- Washington
Dante Pettis holds the NCAA record for most punt return touchdowns in a career with nine. He is a smooth athlete whose best attributes are his field vision and route running ability. The Seahawks normally use smaller, faster wide receivers and Pettis does not fit that mold, but he would be a great addition to the receiving core. He is not a burner in terms of speed, so it makes it much more impressive he has returned so many punts for scores.
He has a great feel for the field and can make defenders miss in the open field. He just needs the ball with a little bit of space and he can score.
Pettis doesn’t just return punts, he is also a very accomplished and smooth receiver. In 2016 he had 15 receiving touchdowns with only 53 catches. That efficiency is ridiculous! He could provide a good infusion of playmaking ability to the Seahawks offense.
Michael Gallup- Colorado State
Gallup transferred from junior college, so he only has two seasons of major college football under his belt. He was a model of consistency during his time in Colorado, breaking the thousand-yard receiving mark both years. Gallup posted 21 touchdown catches and almost 200 catches in those two years too.
Gallup is a good athlete with reliable hands, he can beat the press well when jammed at the line and has very good acceleration. He has shown an ability to break tackles after the catch and has a good feel for breaking big plays.
He was only held to less than five catches in one game this year. He makes plays on a game to game basis, something the Seahawks need from more their wide receivers than just Doug Baldwin.
Lorenzo Carter- Georgia
Carter is more of a projection than any of the other players I have talked about so far. He is a great athlete, with a long frame and can flash big play ability. He came into college as a five-star recruit but did not progress the way many people thought he would. I like to think that means he has untapped potential as an edge rusher.
He is not great in coverage, but I think he could start out as a third down rusher and strong side linebacker on running downs.
Carter is 6’6” and 245 pounds, but his frame shows he could add more weight and really benefit from the added power. One of the strengths of his game is setting the edge on running plays. Carter shows a tenacity to not let offensive linemen get outside of him.
It is hard to see Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril back next year, so pass rush and defensive line will be a priority for the Seahawks again. And with Carter’s versatility playing linebacker and his athleticism I could see him being someone Seattle would like.
Chad Thomas- Miami
Thomas has very good athletic ability especially for someone who is 6’6” and almost 280 pounds. He is a better run defender than pass rusher at this point of his career, but his size and speed shows he has the tools to be a terror on the edge. He needs to learn how to use his hands better when sparring with offensive linemen.
Most of his tackles are tackles for loss, which makes me believe he takes plays off when he thinks he won’t make the play. Thomas does use leverage very well, he is tall but is often underneath his blocker’s pads making himself harder to push around.
If Michael Bennett is still on the team next year, he would be the perfect teacher for Thomas. They are about the same size and have similar athletic traits, this could be a best-case scenario for Thomas to learn from one of the best.
So, if the Seahawks are reading this you don’t have to scout these guys. Give me a call on draft day for more information on them if you need it. I’ve got you covered.
And I will be a happy camper if any of them are taken by Seattle.