Unlike teams who have a windfall of NFL draft capital in 2021, the Seattle Seahawks find themselves up against the proverbial wall in that regard. The organization will kick things off on April 29 in Cleveland with only three selections in their pocket, barring some sort of trade that garners them more. This means they'll have little room for error in their selections, and especially without a first-round pick to latch onto. The Seahawks currently stand to pick at 56th, 129th and 250th overall -- in the second, fourth and seventh round, respectively -- which will lead to a lot of waiting and potentially some unnecessary overthinking.
Fact is, it's rather clear what the needs are in Seattle and while they can't address them all in the coming draft, there are some sleepers who could make an impact for them sooner than they anticipate, as noted in CBS Sports' full 2021 mock draft for the Seahawks. No one can fault the club for trading away this year's first- and third-round picks to the New York Jets in exchange for veteran safety Jamal Adams -- unless they fail to sign him to an extension -- because though he's had some injury issues that he's now recovered from, the 25-year-old landed another Pro Bowl and All-Pro nod in 2020.
But now with Adams in tow and free agency mostly in the rear view, what should the Seahawks overall plan be, with more needs than picks?
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Grab added protection for Russell Wilson
Stop me if you've heard this before: Russell Wilson was/is a tad miffed with the Seahawks. Maybe that's now behind them with Carlos Dunlap noting Wilson's proclamation of remaining in Seattle, and maybe it's simply cooled for now and Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon will be proven correct in his prediction the two sides divorce in the near future. One thing is certain, though, and that's the fact Wilson is still in a Seahawks uniform and in order to keep it that way -- the organization is going to have to make roster moves that extend his Hall of Fame caliber career. Bravo to general manager John Schneider for getting on that ball with the trade for Gabe Jackson, followed by awarding him a three-year deal worth $22.75 million, but there's more work to be done on the offensive line. Using one of their only three picks on an offensive lineman, preferably their first pick, would go that much further in both keeping Wilson upright and as elated as he was when his No. 1 weapon -- All-Pro receiver Tyler Lockett -- was awarded a four-year, $69.2 million deal in March.
Bolster the pass rush, more
Speaking of smart moves, re-signing the aforementioned Dunlap to a two-year deal was one of them. Jarran Reed, and is now worsened by the mutual decision to part ways as he looks to "wreak havoc" in 2021 for the Kansas City Chiefs -- for millions of dollars less. Meanwhile, the Seahawks desperately need someone to do that for them, with Reed having tallied the most sacks in Seattle of any defensive player not named Jamal Adams in 2020, and Adams (a safety, mind you) had three more than second-place Reed and 4.5 more than Dunlap. The last time the Seahawks had a double-digit sack producer was when Reed and Frank Clark both hit the mark in 2018, and they're now both in Kansas City. So instead of being a farm system for Andy Reid's defense, it's time they locate ... and keep ... elite pass rush talent., but the team can't put its feet up just yet. For a club as starved for a pass rush as the Seahawks are, it helps take the edge off (no pun intended) at the position going into the draft but, like the trade for Jackson, doesn't mean all is well. The need would've still been present on the offensive line from both an edge and interior perspective even if they had retained
Add an impact talent to the secondary
The goal of retaining Shaquill Griffin to stave off a dire need at cornerback failed. And Griffin making the unexpected turn to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason, the Seahawks find themselves needing to address the position pronto -- the draft offering up options to aid in their quest. The club doesn't simply need a cornerback, but also one who happens to be a ballhawk and can take the pressure off of Adams to be the end-all in the secondary alongside Pro Bowl safety Quandre Diggs -- the latter leading the team in interceptions last season (5). But, quiet as it's kept, Diggs isn't under contract beyond the 2021 season and neither is Adams, so things are set to get precarious if one or both of them go elsewhere. Plus, considering Adams is often included in blitz packages that helped him deliver more sacks than anyone on the team, the pressure to identify a shutdown corner is that much more pressing. The degree of difficulty in achieving this will be high, because the Seahawks have to decide between putting another body in front of Wilson with the second-round pick or using it to grab a falling defensive back and circling back to the o-line in the fourth round.
However they decide to do it, just know it needs to get done.
Here's the prospects CBS NFL Draft writer Josh Edwards has the Seahawks taking in his mock draft:
|Round (Overall pick)||Prospect (position)||College|
Creed Humphrey (C)
Trill Williams (CB)
Feleipe Franks (QB)