2017 NFL draft may help Seattle Seahawks

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On Thursday, April 27, the 2017 NFL draft will be held in Philadelphia. The Seattle Seahawks, thanks to a recent decision by the NFL will hold the 26th, 58th, 90th, 102nd and 106th pick in the NFL draft. The 102nd pick and the 106th pick in the draft were both rewarded to Seattle by the NFL as compensatory picks with third round designation. Compensatory picks are handed out to teams the year after losing expensive free agents.
In the 2016 offseason, Seattle lost defensive tackle Brandon Mebane to the San Diego Chargers, offensive tackle Russell Okung to the Denver Broncos, offensive guard J.R Sweezy to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and linebacker and defensive end hybrid Bruce Irvin to the Oakland Raiders. After signing free agent offensive tackles Bradley Sowell and J’Marcus Webb, Seattle had two of those compensatory picks canceled out. Compensatory picks are placed at the end of the third round, fourth round, fifth round sixth round and seventh round of the draft. The larger the contract the free agent was signed away for the higher the round designation of the pick. The Seahawks were expected to receiver a third round compensatory pick for Bruce Irvin, however only a fifth was expected for Russell Okung because Denver voided his contract. However, the NFL decided to count all of Okung’s contract while handing out compensatory picks, and Seattle received two third rounders instead of a third rounder and a fifth rounder.
Adding to the good fortune for the Seahawks, the NFL decided that compensatory picks should be tradable during the draft, adding to draft day intrigue. This was an excellent move by the NFL, as fans of the sport love seeing trades happen, and will more likely tune into a televised draft that includes more trades than less trades. The Seahawks could consider moving up in either the second or the first round for one of their compensatory picks, and still be able to make two selections in the second round.
The Seahawks are in a good position as the 2017 draft class looks to be filled with talent throughout the top 100. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll stated what they need addressed through the draft would include finding linebacker support behind all-pro linebackers KJ Wright and Bobby Wagner, restocking a secondary that recently lost starting corner Deshawn Shead to an ACL injury and saw star safety Earl Thomas miss the playoffs with a broken leg, and finding support on a young, inexperienced offensive line. General Manager John Schneider recently suggested that the Seahawks would look to add a veteran presence through free agency on the Offensive Line. They also suggested that linebacker, safety and corner will be the draft priorities ahead of offensive tackle or guard. The 2017 class is rich with corners, safeties and pass rushers, and has a few nice linebackers as well, but is also an extremely underwhelming class of offensive linemen.
Players that could interest Seattle in the first round Temple linebacker Hasson Reddick, Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis, Utah offensive tackle Garret Bolles, or Washington safety Budda Baker. Personally, I believe the Seahawks should draft for need rather loosely, and select the best player available at each of their draft spots. Pass rush or defensive tackle might not be major needs, but the sheer depth of pass rushers in the 2017 class could cause a really good one to fall, and in the NFL, you can never have enough players who can get to the Quarterback and produce sacks, as well as tackles for loss. UCLA’s Takkarist McKinley, Michigan’s Taco Charlton and Missouri’s Charles Harris and pass rushers Seattle needs to consider if they are available at 26. The second and third round both will have plenty of position of need-options for Seattle, including under the radar players such as Florida State’s Marquez White at corner and Houston’s Tyus Bowser at linebacker. It will be interesting to see what the Seahawks choose to do. Overall, I believe the Seahawks roster has a few holes at the moment, but this draft has a chance at repairing quite a few of them.