Hawks love speed in first two rounds, so who are their top options?

Combine logoIf the Seahawks don’t go with big men with their first two draft picks, we have a good idea who their other top candidates will be — now that the Combine is finished.

The Seahawks love speed in the first two rounds. In 2010, it was Earl Thomas (4.43 in the 40) in the first round and Golden Tate (4.42) in the second. In 2012, they picked Bruce Irvin (4.50) in the first and Bobby Wagner (4.45) in the second. In 2013, they traded their first-rounder for Percy Harvin (4.41) and picked Christine Michael (4.43) in the second. And last year they traded out of the first and grabbed Paul Richardson (4.33) in the second.

The only non-speedsters the Hawks have taken in the first two rounds have been left tackle Russell Okung (first round, 2010), left guard James Carpenter (first, 2011) and right tackle Justin Britt (second, 2014).

You get the idea where the Hawks are looking with their top two picks: If it’s not an offensive (or perhaps defensive) lineman, it’s going to be a guy with wheels (i.e., sub-4.5 speed).

Draft speedSo, who are the speedsters the Hawks might see between pick No. 31 and 63? At wide receiver, the afterburners who could be there are Sammie Coates (4.43), Devin Smith (4.42), Nelson Agholor (4.42) and Phillip Dorsett (4.33). At cornerback, they might see Jalen Collins (4.48), Ronald Darby (4.38) or Alex Carter (4.51).

The Seahawks typically wait until the middle rounds to draft cornerbacks, but their circumstances this year might make them consider a cover guy earlier, if one of those guys is there.

But, if the Hawks stay with their usual MO, they will take a receiver and offensive lineman with their top two picks. Four linemen who could be fits in that 31-63 range are Jake Fisher, Cameron Erving, D.J. Humphries and Cedric Ogbuehi.

We’ll know the Hawks’ true interests once they start inviting prospects to the team facility: Three of their past four second-rounders all visited Renton before the draft.

Dorial Green-Beckham is probably the best combination of size (6-5) and speed (4.49) the Hawks could want in a receiver — if he were not the headless horseman’s first cousin (you know, no head on his shoulders). Some mocks have Seattle taking him at No. 31, but the Hawks would be throwing away a pick if they did. As bad as they have been in the first round the last four years (Carpenter, Irvin, Harvin) they can’t possibly be stupid enough to take a complete loser like Green-Beckham.

Devin Funchess has been a popular pick to the Hawks, too. He has the size (6-4) to create mismatches in short area; but, after running a 4.70 at the Combine, he seems to be a man without a position — too slow to play receiver, too soft to play tight end. So people should stop mocking him to the Hawks.

Darby is the speedster from Florida State, but P.J. Williams is rated as the better overall corner. He ran a disappointing 4.57 40 at the Combine, which could mean he’s available at No. 31. NFLDraftScout ranks him No. 33 overall, which would be right in the Hawks’ wheelhouse.

Some mid-round cornerback options, per Rob Staton of Seahawks Draft Blog, include Eric Rowe, Adrian Amos and Durrell Eskridge. (We don’t share Staton’s pessimism about the Hawks’ chances of finding corners in the draft; it’s the position they coach up best. Besides, they almost certainly will sign a reasonably priced veteran this offseason.)

The Seahawks will get firsthand scouting reports on Miami’s prospects, thanks to their new assistant coaches, Michael Barrow and Brennan Carroll. Brennan, Pete Carroll’s son, coached receivers and tight ends at Miami and can give the Hawks the scoop on Dorsett and tight end Clive Walford. Barrow can dish the dirt on linebacker Denzel Perryman. The Hawks also could have interest in tackle Ereck Flowers, although he is expected to be drafted in the top 25.


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