For Seahawks fans the 2017 season was one to forget. The team struggled with drama in the locker room, injuries destroyed the “Legion of Boom”, and of course the under performance on the field. In addition to all the issues last season, the front office has backed the team into a corner as they look towards their future.
The Seahawks have one of the worst cap situations in the league. They are projected to have just $14 million in cap space according to overthecap.com and have several free agents they would like to bring back. In addition to the messy salary cap issues, the team traded away its second and third round picks this year for veterans that haven’t panned out so far in Seattle. With little room to improve the team, the front office will have to nail their first round pick. Below are five potential options for the Seahawks to use the 18th overall pick on.
Possible Options: Joshua Jackson, Isaiah Oliver, Mike Hughes
The cornerback spot was once a strength for the Seahawks, but now has become a weakness. Richard Sherman will turn 30 years old in about a month and is coming off a torn Achilles injury. The Seahawks can save $11 million against the cap by releasing or trading Sherman. Reportedly the team has grown tired of Sherman calling out the offense and Russell Wilson. Last off-season the team admitted that they were talking to other teams about trading for Sherman. The Seahawks are reportedly really high on last year’s third round pick Shaquill Griffin and could make him the new number one cornerback.
Between his age, injury, and public comments, Sherman could easily be released this off-season. To make matters worse for the Seahawks, Sherman is in the last year of his deal and trying to negotiate an extension while acting as his own agent. Even if the Seahawks bring back Sherman the team could look to upgrade the depth behind him.
Josh Jackson hauled in a whopping 26 combined PBUs and INTs – and the nation’s top playmaker index among 2018 NFL Draft CBs this past season pic.twitter.com/jzi0NVVY3P
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 11, 2018
Possible Options: Mike McGlinchey, Isaiah Wynn, Connor Williams
Despite trading away a 2018 third round pick and a 2019 second round for former Texan left tackle Duane Brown, the offensive line was still a mess in 2017. However, Brown should improve in 2018 after spending a full off-season with the coaching staff, and Justin Britt is solid at center. The other three starting spots along the offensive line should be considered for a possible upgrade.
The right tackle spot is likely to be the focus at pick 18. Germain Ifedi is probably better off kicking inside to guard, which would pave the way for the team to start Mike McGlinchey or Connor Williams at right tackle. Ifedi gave up the 15th most sacks in the league last season with six — just imagine how many it would be if Russell Wilson wasn’t the ultimate mobile quarterback.
Possible Options: Harold Landry, Marcus Davenport, Arden Key
The duo of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril may finally be over in Seattle. Avril’s career may be over after suffering a neck injury in week four against the Colts. Third year pro Frank Clark played well as a starter with Avril out, and he’s expected to keep the starting role entering the 2018 season. The Seahawks can save $7.2 million against the cap by releasing Avril; which seems like a foregone conclusion.
With Bennett, the Seahawks will only save $2.2 million against the cap by releasing him. However, the Seahawks could release him with a post-June first designation and save $5.7 million against the cap this season, but would take on $3.5 million in dead money against the cap next off-season. It’s been reported that Bennett has worn out his stay in Seattle and the team wants to move on from him. Both players are on the wrong side of the 30 and the team needs to get younger, and cheaper, on defense.
Possible Options: Derrius Guice, Ronald Jones, Sony Michel
This position is the least likely to be considered at pick 18, as the running back draft class is very deep and the Seahawks have a history of ignoring this position. However, the running back spot has been a disaster since Super Bowl 49. Marshawn Lynch’s last season in Seattle was ruined by injuries. The team thought they had a gem in undrafted free agent Thomas Rawls, but he has struggled to stay healthy over the past three seasons.
Seventh-round rookie Chris Carson looked solid prior to fracturing his leg in week four verses the Colts; an injury that ended his season. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry on 49 carries last season; yet Carson finished second among running backs in rushing yards for the Seahawks with 208. The Seahawks can’t rely on Carson as the feature back next season and have to draft a running back at some point during the draft. If the value is right, it might as well be the first round.
Possible Trade Partners: New Orleans Saints, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots
After a few draft day trades, the Seahawks selected 11 players in the 2017 draft. This year they are projected to have eight draft selections, but only one in the first 120 picks. They do have seven picks on day three of the draft. The Seahawks have shown a willingness to trade back or even out of the first round of the draft, much like they did twice last year. In fact, the Seahawks traded back three times before making their first selection last year.
The 18th pick in the draft isn’t typically one that is traded for. The price is typically too high for teams at the top of the second round to jump back into the first round and teams at the bottom of the first round don’t usually have a pressing need that requires trading up for. However, if a quarterback slides past the Cardinals at pick 15, teams in the bottom part of the round will want to jump the Bills at picks 21 and 22 in order to secure him.