If you’re one of those who believes mock drafts are a silly exercise in futility, particularly when they’re done 10 months in advance, then I’m guessing you also don’t like puppies, rainbows, or Christmas either.
But if the headline wasn’t enough of a spoiler alert for you then let me make this clear: I’m about to project what the 2020 NFL Draft may look like for the Seahawks. And I don’t just mean the first round. Nearly every other football/draft/sports website has been there, done that. We’re talking the full, seven-round, deep-dive variety here.
To recap, the Seahawks are slated to have ten picks in the draft as I write this today, including an extra second rounder obtained from Kansas City in the Frank Clark trade as well as additional selections in the third and fourth rounds as compensation for losing defensive backs Earl Thomas and Justin Coleman in free agency.
Projecting seven rounds worth of prospects and where they fit in the draft order is obviously a huge task, but I’m going to lean heavily on the good folks over at drafttek.com who have been so gracious as to post a Top 300 Big Board already. Will it prove to be accurate once next April arrives? Of course there will be dramatic rises and falls among prospects as the college football season plays out, but it’s a solid template to draw from so far in advance.
As far as draft order goes, we know the comp picks come at the end of each round. Beyond that I’m being optimistic about the Seahawks chances while also keeping these projections as conservative as possible. I have Seattle drafting in the 25-30 range in each round and targeted prospects rated within a few picks of those slots for each selection.
So here we go with our way-too-early seven round Seahawks 2020 mock draft:
Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Gross-Matos broke out last year as a sophomore for the Nittany Lions with 20 tackles for loss while recording at least a half sack in five straight games. Seattle will no doubt be hunting impact EDGE players as a priority in next year’s draft and the 6-foot-5, 262-pound Gross-Matos would be a solid addition in the bottom half of the first round as the team continues to work towards replacing Clark long-term.
Rashard Lawrence, DT, LSU
With Jarran Reed entering the final year of his rookie contract, the status of the defensive tackle position for 2020 and beyond is still in question. Even if Reed is extended, the Seahawks are always looking for players like Lawrence. Equally adept at playing the run or penetrating and chasing the quarterback, as shown by his 4.0 sacks a year ago, the 6-foot-3, 317-pound Lawrence is also a team leader and captain.
T.J. Vasher, WR, Texas Tech
Vashar had a productive sophomore season with the pass-happy Red Raiders, hauling in 54 receptions for 687 yards. Many of the 6-foot-6 inch Vasher’s catches were of the highlight-reel variety, giving Pete Carroll another big red zone target to team up with D.K. Metcalf at a time when contract decisions will be looming for Jaron Brown and David Moore.
Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
Wanogho has one of the best names, and physiques, in the draft. At 6-foot-7, 310 pounds, Wanogho is playing left tackle for the Tigers in the vaunted SEC, but projects better to the right side, where the Seahawks may have an immediate opening after the contract of Germaine Ifedi expires in March.
Trystan Colon-Castillo, C, Missouri
Justin Britt is a logical salary cap cut in 2020, potentially saving the team $8.75 million if he’s released or traded. Castillo is a strong, athletic pivot who could start as a rookie or give the team a long-term answer at center if they choose to ride it out for one more year with Britt.
Jonathan Garvin, EDGE, Miami (FL)
Double-dipping on EDGE? Why not? Ezekial Ansah is on a one-year deal and there are still questions about the long-term viability of his shoulder. Jacob Martin may never be anything more than a rotational player and Rasheem Green is still unproven. Even with 2019 first-rounder L.J. Collier in the fold, coach Pete Carroll prescribes to the philosophy that you can never have too many pass rushers. Garvin was highly productive for the Hurricane with 17 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and two fumble recoveries.
Mitchell Wilcox, TE, South Florida
Tight end will likely be a need next spring with Ed Dickson turning 32 and Nick Vannett entering free agency. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Wilcox is a smooth pass-catcher as well as a functional blocker and will look to build on a strong junior season with 43 receptions for 540 yards and two touchdowns.
DeMarkus Acy, CB, Missouri
Even if Trey Flowers and Shaquill Griffin take a step forward this year as the Seahawks young bookend corners, depth and flexibility at that position will always be a need. At 6-foot-2, Acy has the look of a typical Seattle draft pick at this stage of the draft and also offers the production after breaking out with three interceptions last season. With the right testing numbers, he would undoubtedly garner the attention of Seattle brass.
Marlon Tuipuloutu, USC, DT
Another reinforcement for the interior defensive line, Tuipuloutu is young and raw, but he recorded 4.5 sacks in his first extended action for the Trojans last year. With another year of growth, he should be at least a viable day three selection, if not more.
Trey Sermon, RB, Oklahoma
I expect the Seahawks to add a running back every year in the draft at least as long as Carroll is in town. Sermon is a big back at 6-foot, 224 pounds but has shown exciting upside as both a runner and receiver. He rushed for nearly 1,000 yards in 2018, averaging 5.8 yards per carry while finding the end zone 13 times. The last time the Seahawks took a running back (ironically also out of the state of Oklahoma...) in the seventh round, it seemed to work out alright, as Chris Carson finished fifth in the league in rushing a year ago.
With ten picks at my disposal, it was tempting to spread them around evenly throughout all the position groups. But with the Seahawks spending so much draft capital at linebacker and safety the last two seasons, I felt it more prudent to load up in other areas this time around. The chance to fortify the offensive and defensive lines with high-upside players capable of contributing as rookies was difficult to pass up. Seattle still added an infusion of talent at the offensive skill positions as well.