With less than a month to go before the 2017 NFL Draft gets underway, some of the final preparations are being made that will determine how each team’s draft board eventually looks. Information can be scarce at times but as we learn more about which prospects are visiting which teams, etc, we can gain a better understanding as to who may end up in a particular uniform. I’ll likely be putting out a few more mocks leading up to the draft, but here’s another edition of the Hawk Mock for you, version 5.0! For easy reading purposes, I’ve broken this mock up by round, even though Seattle doesn’t currently possess picks in every one just yet.
Kevin King, CB, Washington
Once again, I’m sticking with King in the first round even though it looks like he could go higher than this as his draft stock continues to soar. Here’s what I said about King a few weeks ago, right after his stellar Combine performance:
Perhaps nobody in the secondary group of Combine performers made themselves as much money as local Washington standout Kevin King. With a blazing 4.43 40, 39.5″ vertical and 6.56 3-cone time has vaulted him into legitimate first-round contention. Though King is a bit light for his height (6’3″), a corner with this size and agility is rarely seen and could wind up being Seattle’s eventual replacement for Richard Sherman. Pete Carroll is close with Huskies head coach Chris Petersen, and with a need in the secondary and UW having multiple stellar DB prospects, Carroll will have all the information he needs to decide which player is best suited for their system.
Tyler Orlosky, OL, West Virginia
We learned a bit more about how the offensive line will look via Pete Caroll and John Schneider this week at the annual league meetings in Phoenix, but with all of their incoming free agents on one-year “prove it” deals, Seattle could still very well use a selection on the offensive line. With Justin Britt scheduled to hit free agency next year, West Virginia’s Tyler Orlosky could represent his longterm replacement at the center position. Orlosky isn’t the most athletic guy in the world, but he’s got a nasty on-field demeanor and a three years’ worth of starting experience in a zone blocking system.
Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan
Darboh is one of my absolute favorite receivers in this class and happens to be one of the draft predictions I’m most confident about for the ‘Hawks going forward. Darboh was the Wolverines’ most reliable pass-catcher last season and is as well-rounded of a player as they come. He has the size, length and agility (6.81 3-cone at Michigan Pro Day) that Seattle covets in its receivers, and also displays plenty of toughness when blocking in the run game. Darboh has of the most fascinating and inspiring stories of this class, which you can read up on here.
Carroll Phillips, EDGE, Illinois
I mocked Phillips to Seattle in the 6th round of the previous edition of the Hawk Mock, but he’s definitely a player who could wind up going much earlier. Here was what I had to say about Phillips a few weeks ago:
Another player who has seemingly been on Seattle’s radar for some time is Illinois DE/LB Carroll Phillips. The Seahawks reportedly had a formal interview at the Senior Bowl and despite not being very big, he has the speed and quickness necessary to play at the next level. Phillips could be utilized on special teams and pass rushing situations while he further develops, perhaps moving into a role similar to Cassius Marsh next season.
Vincent Taylor, DT, Oklahoma State
Another player who the tens of readers of the Hawk Mock may be familiar with, Oklahoma State DT Vincent Taylor could be a target of Seattle’s with one of their third-round comp selections. The defensive line is one position that hasn’t been addressed in free agency, leading me to believe it’s more likely to be dealt with during the draft. Taylor is a massive human being with good burst and pass rushing ability from the interior. He also had a penchant for blocking kicks during his time as a Cowboy, something that the Seahawks will certainly enjoy after the latest NFL rule change preventing players from jumping over the center.
James Conner, RB, Pitt
The Seahawks brought in Eddie Lacy via free agency, but could still stand to add more competition to the position. Here’s what I wrote about the Pitt alum in the Hawk Mock 3.0:
If you’re looking for a player to root for in this year’s draft, look no further than Pitt running back James Conner.
Conner battled, and is now in remission from, Hodgkin’s lymphoma after being diagnosed in late 2015. The 2014 ACC Player of the Year, Conner returned to Pitt this season and rushed for 1,092 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Pete Carroll has mentioned his desire for a big, workhorse back and added depth/competition for Alex Collins and CJ Prosise. At 6’2″, 233 lbs, Conner could be exactly what they’re looking for in a strong draft class for running backs. But most importantly, regardless of who snags him on draft day, you’ll be rooting for James Conner.
Shaquill Griffin, CB, UCF
UCF defensive back Griffin wowed scouts with his numbers at the Combine (4.38 40-yd dash, 132″ broad jump) and with a pre-draft visit already set up with the Seahawks, he could very well be a good late round target of John Schneider and Pete Carroll. Griffin is physical, excelling in press coverage, and he as a great feel and sense of timing for disrupting passes when they get to the receiver. He’s not a guy you can put on an island against your opponents’ best receiver, but in the Seahawks’ defensive scheme, Griffin could shine in the club’s nickel packages.
Cole Hikutini, TE, Louisville
It seems like all but a certainty that Seattle will select a tight end this year and thankfully, it’s one of the deepest position groups in recent memory. Jimmy Graham and recently re-signed Luke Willson are both scheduled to hit the free agent market next year, so Louisville’s Cole Hikutini could be a good longterm solution if either, or both, aren’t with the ‘Hawks beyond 2018.
Hikutini didnt’ test at the Combine due to nagging injuries but he’s one of the most dynamic pass-catchers at the tight end position in this draft. Although he’s not a guy you want in-line blocking for you by any stretch of the imagination, Hikutini’s speed presents immediate matchup problems for linebackers in coverage. With how deep this position group is, Hikutini is one of those players who could present huge value in the later rounds.
Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee
The state of the backup quarterback situation in Seattle was up in the air before Trevone Boykin got arrested this week, so now it seems like a good bet that the Seahawks could look to address it during the draft, or immediately after. Dobbs checks all the boxes from an athletic and tools standpoint, but his inconsistency will be what slides him down a lot of draft boards. Here’s what I had to say about the Tennessee gunslinger after I mocked him to Seattle in the third edition of the Hawk Mock:
In a dismal quarterbacks class, Dobbs represents one of many at the position whose inconsistencies will make teams hesitant to take him. Off the field, Dobbs is literally a genius and has been effusively praised by teammates and coaches alike for his leadership ability. On the field, inconsistent mechanics and erratic decision-making make it difficult to project how he fits at the NFL level.
Regardless, Dobbs’ physical tools, arm strength and mental makeup could offer a nice developmental project for Pete Carroll while providing the club with a similar skill set on the bench behind Russell Wilson.
Mike Tyson, S, Cincinnati
The ‘Hawks signed former Buccaneers safety Bradley McDougald last week, but have already lined up three pre-draft visits with safeties in this class. Cincinnati’s Mike Tyson picked off seven passes in his career with the Bearcats, and possesses experience playing a safety/linebacker hybrid that could work well in certain packages within the Seattle defense. Tyson isn’t a centerfield-type safety, as he’s rather stiff in coverage, but his instincts and tackling ability in the box could be valuable in Seattle’s future three-safety sets.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more mock drafts and UDFA previews!