Though the Seattle Seahawks fell short of the Super Bowl last season and disappointment still lingers, there is plenty of reason for optimism in the Emerald City as the 2020 season draws near. Armed with three selections in the first two rounds and seven total picks (three compensatory) in this year’s draft, the ‘Hawks will have the ammunition to add talent to an overachieving roster that won 11 games and earned a Wild-Card berth in 2019.
The reason for optimism is clear. Russell Wilson is fresh off a MVP-caliber season and Tyler Lockett will look to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in back to back seasons. Several key contributors lost during the ’19 campaign will return from injury, Chris Carson and Will Dissly amongst them. John Schneider’s 2019 draft class of 11 rookies produced some big-time contributors, including budding star D.K. Metcalf.
Despite the recent influx of young talent, issues remain with this Seahawks’ team, chief amongst them a lack of pass-rush. Even if Jadeveon Clowney returns, Seattle will still need to add some juice off the edge as no Seahawk player totaled more than four sacks last season and the team finished with just 28 total. The secondary was recently bolstered by the addition of 27-year old Quinton Dunbar in a trade with Washington, but depth will be needed as Dunbar is yet to play a full season’s slate of games due to injuries.
The offensive line, seemingly a consistent annual need for Seattle, was addressed in free-agency with multiple signings, but no top-end players were added. Schneider will still need to add to this group with Duane Brown turning 35 and the free-agent additions being mostly depth / rotational players. On paper, the Seahawks appear set at running back, but that will truly depend on whether or not Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny can return from season-ending hip and ACL injuries, respectively.
This mock draft won’t include any trades, though Seahawks’ General Manager John Schneider did orchestrate seven draft weekend deals last year. It would not be surprising to see him make multiple moves, up or down, yet again in 2020.
Team Needs: Defensive End, Offensive Tackle, Guard, Cornerback, Linebacker, Running Back.
ROUND-PICK (OVR) • PLAYER • POS • SCHOOL • HT / WT
1-27 (27) • Austin Jackson • OT • Southern California • 6-5 / 305 LBS
Not the sexy pick that a pass-rusher would be, Seattle just can’t pass up one of the top edge protectors in the draft at #27 overall. Declaring early as a junior after making 25 career starts at USC, Jackson is extremely athletic and excels in pass-protection. With major upside, Austin should battle newly-acquired Brandon Shell at right-tackle before being the potential long-term answer to replace Duane Brown at left-tackle. Will need to improve his run-blocking to truly fit the Seahawks scheme.
2-27 (59) • Josh Uche • OLB • Michigan • 6-2 / 238 LBS
Seattle grabs an athletic front-seven player who can be an effective edge rusher along with the skill-set to play off the ball in space. Though just a one-year starter at Michigan, Uche showed plenty of potential during his career with seven sacks in a rotational role as a junior and 11.5 tackles for loss with 8.5 sacks as a Senior. Didn’t participate in any combine drills due to a hamstring injury suffered at the Senior Bowl but drew rave reviews from Jim Nagy, a former Seahawks’ scout. Nagy, now the Senior Bowl Director, said Josh was the best defensive player at the collegiate all-star game and is a first-round talent. Though fully capable of dropping into coverage, Uche should make most of his impact off the edge.
This is one of the more impressive plays in Josh Uche's film. Dude drops into coverage and carries KJ Hamler all the way down the field. And then causes a pass breakup. Holy moly.pic.twitter.com/4GmqWmqh5m
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 16, 2020
2-32 (64) • Bradlee Anae • DE • Utah • 6-3 / 257 LBS
The ‘Hawks double up on the pass-rush by selecting the ultra-productive edge rusher from Utah. Winner of the 2019 Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Year, Anae accrued 29.5 career sacks with the Utes, including 12.5 last season. A technically-proficient end, Bradlee excels in all the “small-things” with a workmanlike manner Seattle coaches will fall in love with. Though not equipped with elite athleticism, Anae brings an all-around skill-set to impact both the run and passing game.
Bradlee Anae is a technician of pass rusher, who has a very refined variety of pass rush moves in his arsenal.
Although he is an average athlete at the edge position, he wins with his advanced hand technique and unwavering effort. pic.twitter.com/4vN9BKKhLH
— Titans Tape (@TitansTape) February 1, 2020
3-37 (101-compensatory) • Hunter Bryant • TE • Washington • 6-2 / 240 LBS
Will Dissly is rehabbing his way back from a torn Achilles and it’s questionable to just how much free-agent addition Greg Olsen has left in the tank at age 35. So Pete Carroll and John Schneider grab the player with arguably the best hands in the 2020 tight end class. Though not the fleetest of foot, Hunter is a moveable chess-piece that has enough acceleration to pull away from linebackers and the size to overpower defensive backs. A solid route-runner, Bryant can spread the entire field and pressure all levels of opposing defenses. Should challenge Jacob Hollister for the move tight end role early on.
4-27 (133) • Shane Lemieux • G • Oregon • 6-4 / 316 LBS
Grabbing their third player from the Pac-12, Seattle gets a four-year starter at guard who can immediately contribute in the run game. Armed with prototype size and good athleticism, Lemieux’ strength is as a run blocker. Tough and intelligent, he should be in the rotational mix early and could challenge for a starting role.
4-38 (144-compensatory) • Bryce Hall • CB • Virginia • 6-1 / 200 LBS
The acquisition of Quinton Dunbar to play outside may have lessened the need for Seattle to take a corner in the draft, but the ‘Hawks still nab another long and lean DB to come in and compete for a role. A four-year starter at Virginia, Hall is a former wide-receiver with plus intelligence and ball skills. A press-corner best suited for a zone scheme who has the physicality to come up and tackle runners. May also be looked at as a safety. Draft stock will be dependent on his recovery from a broken ankle suffered last season.
6-35 (214-compensatory)• Michael Warren II • RB • Cincinnati • 5-11 / 223 LBS
With their final pick in the draft, multiple positions could be in play as Seattle would do well to add depth at linebacker or wide receiver. Instead, the Seahawks, after seeing their running back corps decimated by injury at the end of 2019, select a prospect with the size and strength to hold up to NFL punishment. Owning a hard-charging running style that Pete Carroll covets, Warren can step into goal line and short-yardage situations right away. Shows surprising agility and receiving ability with 51 career catches. Scored 34 rushing touchdowns in 38 career games.
Cincinnati RB Michael Warren II (@MikeWarrenII) 2018 Highlights
Warren enters the '19 season as the AAC's leader in rushing yards & TDs. The #Bearcats will be leaning heavily on No. 3 to carry the offense for what could be a special season
— JustBombsProductions (@JBP_Official) May 25, 2019