John Schneider and company are never too secretive about the guys they are interested in drafting. Their visits and workouts typically telegraph many of their moves.
Last year, they met with Malik McDowell and Shaquill Griffin, who ended up as two of their top three picks. In 2016, they added a handful of their pre-draft visit/workout guys, including first-rounder Germain Ifedi. In 2015, they brought in/worked out at least four of their eventual picks, including Frank Clark. Keep going back and the same pattern emerges, with Paul Richardson, Christine Michael, et al.
So we obviously can glean a lot from reports of their pre-draft visits and workouts. Two weeks before the draft, here’s what we know:
The Hawks are taking a good look at 3-tech options, including Maurice Hurst, Andrew Brown and Poona Ford. Hurst, the Michigan tackle who had the heart scare at the Combine, is considered a first-round talent. Brown and Ford both look like Day 3 options. The Hawks obviously need to make up for the McDowell miss.
No surprise the Hawks also are checking into running backs. Derrius Guice has been mocked to Seattle, but there are questions about his character (big surprise for an LSU guy). The Hawks also reportedly worked out Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage, who could be a good Round 5 option.
Seattle also is looking at return men: Washington’s Dante Pettis and Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk. Ballage also can return kicks. The Hawks are considering options because Tyler Lockett is a free agent after the season and they might like to take some return duties off his plate so he can focus on playing receiver in 2018.
Fully expected to move down from pick 18, the Hawks have been looking at guys who could be available late in the first round or early in the second. Other than Hurst, Guice and Kirk, they reportedly have checked out Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert, UCLA tackle Kolton Miller and Stanford safety Justin Reid.
If the Hawks don’t trade out of the first, Vander Esch would be a great pick for now (special teams) and the future (replacing K.J. Wright).
The Hawks have looked at a few other interesting prospects.
Kyle Allen, a former big-time QB recruit whose college career fizzled at Texas A&M and Houston, worked out for Seattle and then came up for a VMAC visit. The Hawks, like other teams, are curious about why he never lived up to expectations before leaving early for the NFL. He obviously isn’t worth anything more than a seventh-round pick — likely a UDFA.
Simeon Thomas is barely on the radar of draft analysts, but the Seahawks are curious about the La. Lafayette defensive back, who has everything they like: 6 feet 3, 35-inch arms, 11-3 broad jump, 39-inch vertical, 4.47 40-yard dash.
Florida State’s Josh Sweat is a talented rusher with a long-term knee concern. He could fit the LEO role for Seattle, but the health question is obviously a big reason the Hawks wanted to check him out personally. Depending on the knee, he could go anywhere from Round 2 to Round 5.