DRAFT COUNTDOWN: 4 weeks. Every Thursday until the draft, we look at draft-related topics involving the Seahawks.
For all of the talk about the Seahawks needing to target an offensive lineman with the 26th overall pick, it is looking more and more like they could be angling to draft a defensive lineman.
Florida’s Jonathan Bullard is the hot name attached to the Seahawks these days. They reportedly were set to bring him in for a visit — a move that could well foreshadow his arrival as a Seahawk in late April.
The Seahawks have brought in three of their past five second-round picks for visits: Bobby Wagner in 2012, Christine Michael in 2013 and Frank Clark in 2015. In 2014, they did not bring in Paul Richardson, but they spent a lot of time with him before the draft and then moved down to get him in the second round.
That is the same move the Hawks could be contemplating for Bullard, who is generally considered a top-40 prospect.
As Rob Staton of Seahawks Draft Blog has been saying, the Seahawks seem likely to draft another hybrid defensive lineman — a la Michael Bennett — and Sheldon Rankins and Bullard appear to be the top two of that ilk. Rankins figures to be drafted in the first 15 picks, so Bullard is the one who will be in Seattle’s range.
It is looking less likely that the Seahawks could get Bullard with the 56th overall pick, so they might be eyeing him with their top pick.
Of course, John Schneider loves to trade out of the first round — Seattle has not used a first-rounder since 2012 — so he could move down and still get Bullard while adding a pick.
The third option would be to draft an offensive lineman at 26 and hope Bullard drifts to 56.
This is the third straight year that offensive line and defensive tackle have been at the top of Seattle’s draft needs list. The team has satisfied only one of those needs in the first two days — drafting Justin Britt in the second round in 2014 — but the depth at both spots this year means the Hawks really have no reason not to address their roster priorities.
If they go with a defensive lineman first, there are plenty of Day 2 options on the O-line. And they have four of the top 97 picks, so they should be able to add two blockers in the first two days.
DL Jonathan Bullard, Walter Football: The Seahawks lost Brandon Mebane in free agency, so some reinforcements are needed in the interior of their defensive line. The pass rush from the defensive tackles was pretty weak anyway, so this was going to be addressed anyway. Seattle seems like it could love Jonathan Bullard’s great athleticism.
OL Germain Ifedi, Seahawks Draft Blog: The Seahawks have a choice of either Germain Ifedi or Cody Whitehair. … Both players would project to start at left guard and the Seahawks have favored size in that role previously, which is why I stuck with Ifedi.
OG Cody Whitehair, Rob Rang of CBS: A four-year starter with experience all over the offensive line, Whitehair possesses the versatility, toughness and dependability this club is lacking up front. Further, the Seahawks will know the Wildcats well after striking gold with rookie Pro Bowler Tyler Lockett a year ago.
DT A’Shawn Robinson, Todd McShay of ESPN: “Robinson could last a little longer than expected due to his inconsistent motor and lower-body stiffness. But Robinson’s raw ability is undeniable, and he appears unblockable at times. Plus, he comes with great durability, playing in all 43 games during his Alabama career. Any team that takes him in the first round will (be) placing a large bet on its defensive line coach’s ability to maximize Robinson’s unique skill set.”