Even though we have been doing it for months, it’s always hard to predict what the Seattle Seahawks will do in the NFL draft.
Their two most recent first round selections, Rashaad Penny in 2018 and L.J. Collier in 2019, were hardly expected – as Penny didn’t fill a positional need and Collier was not considered a first round talent by most evaluators.
So while it’s anyone’s guess what Seattle will actually do this weekend, it does seem like the team’s moves during free agency will steer them away from taking interior offensive linemen during the draft.
The team not only signed two new center/guard types in free agency – B.J. Finney and Chance Warmack – they also re-signed Joey Hunt, Mike Iupati, Jordan Roos and Jordan Simmons, giving them 11 players capable of playing the three interior spots.
Iupati is expected to re-join Justin Britt and D.J. Fluker as starters in 2020, which doesn’t leave much room for newcomers.
Of course, Britt could be a cap casualty, as cutting him would save the team $11.4 million dollars – money they could use to pursue an upgrade on the defensive line.
Even if they make that move, Finney will likely take over as the starting center, and Iupati and Fluker will have plenty of competition to back them up, including Ethan Pocic, Phil Haynes, Jamarco Jones (if they move him inside) Demetrius Knox, Simmons, Roos and Warmack.
There are plenty of good interior linemen available for the picking, and we have profiled quite a few of them including Nick Harris, Lloyd Cushenberry, Cesar Ruiz, Tyler Biadasz and Damien Lewis.
However – unless Seattle is planning to make multiple cuts up front, it seems unlikely they’ll use an early round pick on an interior offensive lineman during the 2020 NFL draft, and even a late round pick seems like a waste unless they see some real upside.