The series finale! (DC style)
Welcome to Part Nine!
Where reality doesn’t interfere with results.
(i.e. HERE, the Seahawks are the team that signed Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler, not LAC; and the defensive end we want would never agree to return to the Rams – blech!)
However, in a nod to DC – the comics, not the place – we will ALSO have a multiverse version of this installment . . . at the end (i.e. in the EXPANDED Bonus Coverage section).
The final installment
Today, we are going to look at what yo decided to do with your 4 draft picks, the players priorities you had for each selection, and the players you ended up adding to your roster.
At the end, there will be an updated Depth Chart and one last poll.
And now . . . FULL SPEED AHEAD!
The NFL Draft
The 2021 NFL Draft was a roller coaster for the Seahawks.
Heading into Draft Week, the team had four picks: #55 (R2), #129 (R4), #168 (R5), and #209 (R6).
Then the Miami Dolphins called and asked about Tyler Lockett.
Miami offered the second of their 2nd round picks – #50 overall – and you turned them down without even pausing.
The Dolphins called back a couple days later offering their 1st round pick in 2022 and . . . this time you thought about it – but, again, you said, “No.”
You’re rolling in 2022 with Lockett and Metcalf as your WR1 and WR2 (in whichever order) and you’ll figure out what to do with Lockett (and maybe both of them) next offseason.
On April 30th, the Commissioner officially opened the NFL Draft.
As expected, Trevor Lawrence was the #1 pick.
The Jets took a QB at #2.
The Dolphins selected Offensive Tackle Penei Sewell at #3.
Drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip.
(the draft is so torturous without a first round pick)
Overall, Day One was a quiet one at Seahawks HQ.
But Jamal Adams posted something on Twitter that made you chuckle and you quickly moved past it.
Then Day Two rolled around and you clicked into “trader” mode.
Picks and trades
To keep things from getting too confusing too quickly, here’s a breakdown of what you decided to do with each of your four picks.
SPOILER: You’re Seattle; naturally you traded 3 of the 4.
Pick #55 (R2)
You received FIVE offers for the pick.
51% of you chose to trade the pick to Buffalo for #61 (R2) and #93 (R3).
Pick #129 (R4):
You received THREE offers for the pick.
One of the offers sent 4 picks your way; 50% of you thought that was cool.
Pick #129 became #151 (R5), #192 (R6), #196 (R6), and #224 (R6c).
Pick #168 (R5)
You received FOUR offers for the pick.
Jacksonville offered you a late 7th round pick to move back 2 spots (to #170) and 46% of you thought that was an easy choice.
Pick #168 turned into #170 (R5) and #248 (R7).
Pick #209 (R6)
You received THREE offers for the pick.
Tired of trading (?) or perhaps just wanting to USE one of your own picks, you turned all of them down and made a selection at your assigned spot.
NOTE: This last one was really close, vote-wise, with only 4 votes separating the top 2 choices – keep the pick or trade it to Jacksonville.
However, y’all accepted a trade with Jacksonville in Round 5 that eliminated one of the picks they were offering (#248) so the decision would have been the same either way.
Draft pick summary (selection #s, not players)
You entered the draft with 4 picks and you ended up selecting NINE players with the following picks: #61 (R2), #93 (R3), #151 (R5), #170 (R5), #192 (R6), #196 (R6), #209 (R6), #224 (R6c), and #248 (R7).
No R1, one R2, one R3, no R4, two R5s, three R6s, one Round 6 compensatory selection (#224), and one R7.
Given where the team started Draft Week . . . KUDOS on a job well done!
The players you selected in the NFL Draft
Here are the players that you chose to select with your nine draft picks – with some assistance from the Scouting Department, of course.
Pick #61 (R2)
The priority with this pick was GUARD. Overwhelmingly. Cornerback was #2 with barely half as many votes. Running Back was #3 with Offensive Tackle and Defensive End just under the “Top 3” cut line.
Unfortunately, there is a BIG gap between the top-rated Guard (Wyatt Davis) and everyone else. Thus, the Seahawks broke form and selected a CORNERBACK before Round 3. Granted, the selection was only 3 picks from the end of Round 2, but that’s still “before Round 3.”
Meet Syracuse Cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu.
PFF’s had this to say about him before the draft:
Melifonwu has some freaky tools for a corner that stands 6-foot-3, 213 pounds. He never earned lower than a 74.1 coverage grade in three years of playing time.
He should fit into Seattle’s group of defensive backs quite nicely.
Pick #93 (R3)
CORNERBACK was your priority with this pick, followed by Guard and Defensive End. Running Back was the first runner up (below the cut line).
However, your took a Cornerback with pick #61 so this time you targeted a GUARD. And you got a good one.
Meet Georgia Guard Ben Cleveland.
Having allowed only 13 pressures on 606 pass-blocking snaps over the past 3 years, PFF had Ben Cleveland ranked #90 on their Big Board. He should slot nicely into Seattle’s offensive line.
Pick #151 (R5)
CORNERBACK was again the priority – which makes sense because in Part Six of this series, 63% of you said the Seahawks need 2 of them between free agency and the draft. Number two on the ol’ priority list was Running back, followed by Defensive End. Way below the cut line were Wide Receiver, Tight End, and Offensive Tackle.
This pick might be the most interesting one of the draft from the Seahawks’ perspective.
You chose a CORNERBACK and we’ll get to who you selected in a moment.
Running Back was #2 on the priority list here though, and Ohio State’s Trey Sermon (#147 on PFF’s Board) and Oklahoma’s Rhamondre Stevenson (#165) were both available. Yet neither one were really a consideration given Pete’s obsession with “freakish” athleticism and his unadulterated love for defense.
A year earlier and Seattle would have passed on the player you selected because he doesn’t fit the bill in terms of the so-called “Seattle measurables”, but 5-foot-9, 194-pound D.J. Reed changed the thinking a little bit last year.
And . . .
You can’t teach “freaky” athleticism. Someone either has it or they don’t. And the player you selected HAS IT.
Meet Cornerback Robert Rochell from Central Arkansas.
PFN starts their profile about Rochell this way:
Every position has a wild card. And in the 2021 Draft, Central Arkansas’ Robert Rochell is the wild card at cornerback.
But PFF is even more succinct:
(Rochell’s) numbers are pretty much what you get when you give all 99s to your create-a-player cornerback in Madden.
But . . .
PFF also says this:
Rochell is going to make a front office in the NFL ask the question, “how much do we trust our defensive backs coach?”
In Seattle, the answer is A LOT.
Rochell is the type of player that Pete Carroll dreams about.
When it came down to it, this was an EASY selection.
Pick #170 (R5)
WIDE RECEIVER jumped to the top of the priority list with this pick. Behind Wide Receiver, Tight End, Cornerback, and Defensive End were grouped together with 4 votes separating the 3 positions.
Georgia Defensive End Malik Herring (#172 on PFF’s Board) was almost the pick here. But y’all have a phobia about draft picks named Malik (kidding) and Defensive End was actually the FOURTH priority with this pick, so . . .
Meet Florida State WIDE RECEIVER Tamorrion Terry.
Tamorrion Terry is #186 on PFF’s Board so maybe some will consider him a reach, but he would be gone at #192 and his “game-breaking” potential makes the gamble worthwhile.
Plus, he and D.K. Metcalf are going to have so much fun together!
Pick #192 (R6)
RUNNING BACK surged ahead with this pick with Cornerback in close pursuit. A good distance back, Defensive Tackle and Defensive End sat just above and below the Top 3 cut line.
Question: What do you call a record-setting running back who runs for over 1,000 yards as a true freshman, 1,804 yards as a sophomore, and then tops 1,000 yards in only 6 games as a junior?
Answer: The newest Seahawks running back: Jaret Patterson.
Here are two things your scouting department thought were interesting about Mr. Patterson – aside from his impressive yardage and record-setting performances:
- His 4.7 yards after contact per carry was tied for the nation’s best with Virginia Tech’s Khalil Herbert, according to Pro Football Focus; and
- He likes returning kicks.
Pick #196 (R6)
In voting, RUNNING BACK led again but Defensive End overtook Cornerback for second position. And while Cornerback was #3 on the list, Wide Receiver was only 1 vote back.
Every year there’s a “hidden gem” in the NFL Draft.
This year, it might be Defensive End Raymond Johnson III from Georgia Southern.
This gem is #217 on PFF’s Big Board. But his season grade (redacted) placed him at the TOP of the class – NUMBER ONE among all edge rushers.
In 2020, he had 7 sacks, 9 QB hits, and 33 hurries.
In 49 college games, he collected 33.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and 5 fumble recoveries.
His PFF grades in Pass Rush and Run Defense are within a point of each other – and both are exemplary.
Yet neither PFF nor PFN have any write-ups about him.
Which was good for Seattle because he was sitting there waiting for you in the 6th round of the draft. Your very own hidden gem.
Pick #209 (R6)
RUNNING BACK was again voted #1. Defensive Tackle made a push and finished second. Cornerback and Wide Receiver were tied for 3rd. But a dark horse challenger appeared . . . QUARTERBACK finally made an appearance in the Top 5.
Unfortunately, there were NO Quarterbacks on the board still that were worth spending a draft pick on; they should all be available as UDFAs.
You took a Running Back 17 picks earlier, there were no Defensive Tackles in this range that your scouting department endorsed, and any Wideout you selected here would be a bit of a reach. So you audibled.
Meet Guard Jack Anderson from Texas Tech.
First off, this very talented Guard was limited to 3 games last season because of injury – which is part of the reason he’s not ranked higher and was available for you to select at #209.
And, given the presence of Damien Lewis and the fact that you signed a quality Guard in free agency – and also selected in Round 3, Mr. Anderson should probably be viewed as a “depth piece” in 2021 – and maybe 2022.
But your scouting department expects that he could become a starter by 2023. And, in the meantime, an injury to one of your starters becomes a bit easier to overcome.
Plus, Russ is gonna love him!
Pick #224 (R6c)
As the draft entered the final round of compensatory picks, CORNERBACK sat on top of the priority list, 2 votes ahead of Wide Receiver. Defensive Tackle was #3 and every other position was in the rear view mirror.
You had already taken 2 Cornerbacks – with 2 of your first 3 picks, in fact – and you were eyeing a particular Wide Receiver with your final pick (#248), so you took a flier on a Defensive Tackle.
Meet Ta’Quon Graham from Texas.
PFN’s summary perhaps says it best:
Graham was out of position in the Longhorns three-man line, but has a large upside due to his athleticism. He’s a Day 3 pick who could be used as a rotational lineman early in his NFL career while he develops his game.
Pick #248 (R7)
There wasn’t any question about what you wanted to do with this pick as WIDE RECEIVER got more votes than #2 (RB) and #3 (CB) combined.
You clearly knew what you wanted with this pick and, as mentioned on the prior pick, you had a specific player in mind.
There were 257 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft and this player was #258 on PFF’s Big Board.
In 2020, this wideout had 70 catches on 91 targets for 1,188 yards (17.0 yards per catch) and scored 8 touchdowns.
He is one of only 4 receivers in the draft with a PFF grade of 90 or higher.
And you STOLE HIM at #248.
Meet Dax Milne.
And that concludes the recap of Seattle’s draft.
Your 2021 draft class at a glance
When all was said and done, you selected 9 new players for your team – 5 on offense, 4 on defense.
Let’s welcome the rookies to Seattle !
- Ben Cleveland, Guard (Georgia)
- Dax Milne, Wide Receiver (BYU)
- Ifeatu Melifonwu, Cornerback (Syracuse)
- Jack Anderson, Guard (Texas Tech)
- Jaret Patterson, Running Back (Buffalo)
- Raymond Johnson III, Defensive End (Georgia Southern)
- Robert Rochell, Cornerback (Central Arkansas)
- Ta’Quon Graham, Defensive Tackle (Texas)
- Tamorrion Terry, Wide Receiver (Florida State)
Seattle’s rookie pool
Heading into the draft, OverTheCap estimated Seattle’s rookie pool at $3,338,748. This was, of course, based on Seattle only having four picks.
Then y’all went and more than doubled that, going from 4 picks to 9 picks.
Unsurprisingly, your rookie pool increased.
Also not surprising . . .
It basically doubled, growing from $3,338,748 to $6,863,714.
Here is the breakdown:
Fear not though, even if you signed all nine draftees tomorrow – which is unlikely, you would still be under the salary cap by $8,550,636.
In large part because 7 of the 9 draftees wouldn’t qualify for the “Top 51” and thus wouldn’t count toward the salary cap calculation.
And even the first 2 draftees (Ifeatu Melifonwu and Ben Cleveland), who count $1,901,754 against the cap in 2021, only reduced the available cap amount by $341,754 because they pushed John Ursua ($780,000) and Penny Hart ($780,000) out of the Top 51.
Ain’t it great how that works?
Also, way back in Part Four, you voted to restructure RW3’s contract “as needed” so you’ve always got that as a fallback option.
The Seahawks’ Post-Draft Depth Chart
What do you think?
How did you do (as a group)?
What do the Seahawks still need – roster-wise?
The FINAL poll . . .
How do you feel about the roster that you’ve constructed?
Thanks for reading!
Here is the updated salary cap information for the “If you were John and Pete” version of the Seahawks roster (i.e with Corey Linsley, Matt Feiler, Leonard Floyd, and Carlos Hyde.).
EXPANDED Bonus Coverage
Those pesky Chargers! Seattle had an agreement on a 3-year, $33M deal with Corey Linsley and the Chargers went and offered him a FIVE year deal. Damn them!
That’s okay though; the Hawks “recovered” and signed Austin Blythe instead. And Seattle’s new OC, Shane Waldron, couldn’t be happier because Blythe was his Center in L.A. and already knows all of the line calls.
Plus, from a cap-perspective, 2 years for $5.5M sounds a whole lot better than 3 years, $33M. Heck, this year alone, we just saved $4.05M given that Linsley’s cap hit would have been $6.8M and Blythe’s is only $2.75M.
That said, our franchise QB is not happy with the unexpected reversal; he’d already gone and gotten himself a Corey Linsley Seahawks jersey and now it will just be another reminder of how the team let him down.
Making things worse, the Chargers also poached Matt Feiler. Two of Seattle’s top targets . . . both heading to the AFC side of SoFi Stadium in L.A.
Feiler was slated to cost Seattle $4.05M in 2021 (and $12M overall for 2 years). Instead, the Seahawks will go with former Raider Guard Gabe Jackson.
Fortunately, signing Jackson instead of Feiler won’t be seen as a downgrade by Russell Wilson because, despite the lower cost (2 years, $10M; $3M cap hit in 2021), Jackson is a sack-stoppin’ machine! He played 1,062 snaps in 2020 and didn’t give up a single sack.
Slotting Jackson in between Duane Brown and Austin Blythe should make the left side of the line SOLID.
Unfortunately, the free agent mind-changing wasn’t limited to just the offensive line. Defensive End Leonard Floyd also spurned the Seahawks after agreeing to a deal.
Losing Linsley and Feiler be a bigger loss from a roster standpoint since Seattle has A LOT of defensive ends, but Floyd spurned Seattle to resign with the Rams and that . . . well, that’s not cool.
Again though, the Hawks recovered, pivoted, and got someone even BETTER!
Aldon Smith – 2 years, $15M; $10M guaranteed.
The Hawks are saving boatloads of money AGAIN! ($2.5M against the cap in 2021; and $25M overall)
Sadly, Seattle also lost Carlos Hyde.
Why he chose to get out of his $2.2M deal with the Seahawks and go to Jacksonville is a mystery, but . . . his loss.
The good news – the very, very, very GOOD news is that the $9.8M that Seattle saved from the defections was enough to sign a second free agent Defensive End and a second free agent Cornerback.
And you already know ONE of them . . .
Carlos Dunlap (Defensive End)
3 years, $27M; $9M signing bonus; $11M guaranteed
2021 cap hit is $5M
And the other one is . . .
Gareon Conley (Cornerback)
1 year, $3.5M; $1M signing bonus; no other guarantees
2021 cap hit is $3.5M
And, on top of all that, there is still $10,662,989 of cap space remaining – even after Seattle signs the NINE players that were drafted.
Taking into account the defections (Linsley, Floyd, Hyde), the pivots (Blythe, Jackson, Smith) the additions (Dunlap, Conley), and the draft, here is what the Seahawks roster looks like heading toward OTAs:
Contract terms for the free agent “pivots” and additions
Aldon Smith (Defensive End)
Austin Blythe (Center)
Carlos Dunlap (Defensive End)
Gabe Jackson (Guard)
Gareon Conley (Cornerback)
Updated salary cap info