“I think it’s going to be a hell of a class.” — John Schneider, after adding five players in the first two days of the draft.
For the first time since 2010, the Seahawks did not do anything offbeat — and it looks like it could turn out to be their best draft in four years.
The Seahawks like to point out that their grading system is not the same as the rest of the league, but this time most of their picks matched projections — and they got some great value as they filled holes on both lines and added depth at running back and tight end.
On Thursday, they were weighing whether to take right tackle Germain Ifedi or defensive tackle Jarran Reed with the 31st pick. They went with the O-lineman “so you guys would be happy,” John Schneider cracked.
But, when they saw Reed sliding toward them in the second round Friday, they jumped up to get him. It was the 13th trade Schneider has made as Seattle GM, but just the third upward move. The Hawks gave Chicago their fourth-round pick to move up from 56 to 49 — and preserved their three third-round picks.
Reed is considered the best run stopper in the draft, and the Hawks love that he was an “alpha dog” in Alabama’s stacked program (seven players drafted in the first three rounds).
Seahawks Southeast scout Jim Nagy called Reed “the best run stuffer I’ve seen in a long time.” He said the Hawks were stunned Reed was available at 49.
It’s a perfect fit. Reed will replace run stopper extraordinaire Brandon Mebane and start next to Ahtyba Rubin on the league’s No. 1 run defense.
They also got a guy who really wants to be a Seahawk. Reed said he has been talking about the Seahawks ever since the Senior Bowl and called it a “dream come true” to be drafted by Seattle. In a most apropos turn, he walked out on stage at the draft in Chicago holding a bag of Skittles — the favorite candy of former Seahawk Marshawn Lynch. He said he was chewing on Skittles when the Seahawks called and it occurred to him it would be appropriate to bring the bag with him.
The Hawks waited patiently until the end of the third round to make their three picks, adding Notre Dame running back C.J. Prosise, Ohio State tight end Nick Vannett and Boise State guard Rees Odhiambo. All great depth moves.
The Hawks had lots of options at RB, but Prosise has the skills they wanted in their No. 2 back. Pete Carroll spoke glowingly of him, said they had their eye on him the whole way (Prosise said they showed a lot of interest at the Combine) and said they have a “special role” in mind for the former wide receiver.
They probably will use the smooth runner/receiver extensively on passing downs. He also figures to push Christine Michael as Thomas Rawls’ backup.
Vannett seems a lock to beat out Helfet and play as the No. 2 TE –whether Jimmy Graham or Luke Willson is starting. Vannett also is a hedge against Graham’s health as the Pro Bowl player recovers from a torn patellar tendon.
Vannett called himself one of the best three-down tight ends in the country, and Schneider and Carroll took that a step farther by calling him the only true big blocking tight end in this draft.
Odhiambo is a wild card. Even he was surprised to be drafted so high. But it was a great coincidence that he already happened to be in the Seattle area — visiting college teammate Marcus Henry.
As the Kenyan native said, “It’s weird how Seattle has been my second home and now I get to come live and play here and live out my dreams.”
Odhiambo played tackle at Boise State but will move inside to guard in Seattle — although Carroll refrained from naming a side.
Odhiambo appears to have great upside, if he stays healthy. He is recovering from an ankle injury that limited him in pre-draft workouts and made it seem like he would slide to Day 3.
But the Seahawks value his athleticism and grit (his parents both died before he reached college), and they think they can work him up. He seems destined to spend 2016 redshirting, a la Mark Glowinski in 2015.
Many expected the Seahawks to pick Missouri lineman Connor McGovern, and they also bypassed Christian Westerman and Joe Dahl. So if any of those guys end up with better careers, the Odhiambo pick will be panned.
Other than that question mark, though, the Seahawks seemed to nail every pick on Day 2. Schneider was right when he said it looks like “a hell of a class.”