With the 2014 NFL Draft coming up, the Seattle Seahawks are working behind closed doors to put together their draft board. Pete Carroll and John Schneider have been tinkering for some time now and we all know it.
But what exactly are they working on?
Whose tape are they watching?
Whose Combine or Pro Day impressed them the most?
Those are the questions that the braintrust in Seattle must answer, and answer quickly. The draft isn’t particularly star studded this year as much as it is deep. This seems to be one of the deepest, richest draft pools in recent history. Pete and John HAVE to be drooling in anticipation.
Nerds like myself are drooling in anticipation as well, trying to gauge how PCJS will work the draft this year.
There are lots of good choices at #32 this year. Let’s break down 5 of them.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
This has become my favorite choice for the Seahawks first pick. While the team has Percy Harvin locked up long term, they had to let Sidney Rice walk as well as watch Golden Tate head to Detroit. Carroll has longed for 2 big threats on the outside and this seems to be the year to fill that void.
While helping the Seminoles to the National Championship last season, Kelvin Benjamin stood out as one of the top receivers in the country. His size allows him to out-jump or out-maneuver defenders until he kicks on the turbo boost and takes off with the ball.
Benjamin’s combination of size and speed make him the ultimate pairing to meet Pete’s demands.
He has strong hands and makes difficult catches look easy at times. He blocks well when needed and runs clean routes. His athleticism puts him in a class above the rest and would be perfect in this Seattle offensive scheme.
David Yankey, O-Line, Stanford
With the right side of the Seahawks offensive line departing for other cities, the team has some holes to fill. That is where David Yankey comes into the mix. Yankey is a big, versatile guy who can plant and block or will pull off the line and block into the second level for ball carriers.
Stanford has been one of the most dominant teams out West, if not in all of college football, the last few season – and for good reason. The linemen play physical and create openings for the strong, speedy Cardinal backs.
When it comes time for pass protection, they can handle that, too. Ask Andrew Luck.
Yankey’s athleticism as a lineman makes him a weapon the Seahawks could definitely use. It’s rare to see guys who can excel at both types of blocking, and Seattle uses both to their advantage every chance they get.
Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
Like Kelvin Benjamin at Florida State, Odell Beckham is a quick, strong athletic freak of nature who could make an immediate impact on the Seahawks. Playing in one of the toughest conferences in college football has weathered Beckham for the storm that will be the NFL.
While he’s about average size for a receiver, his game says otherwise. His strong hands don’t drop many passes at all but they help him pull down passes away from annoying would-be defenders. His speed allows him to blow past or cut right through defenses to make plays.
He doesn’t give up on plays and his legs keep churning if he sees an opportunity to extend a play.
Oh yeah…he’s a stellar punt and kick return guy, too.
Zach Martin, OG, Notre Dame
Another candidate to help the Seahawks with their line issues is Zach Martin out of Notre Dame. Like Yankey, Martin can move along the line or sit and block oncoming blitzers.
There may be a slight nod towards pass blocking specialty, but that should be of zero concern to anyone seeing as Seattle is a run-first team.
While Martin may be classified as average size or even undersized, his play has shown otherwise. He was the best lineman at the Senior bowl where he continued to outplay Stanford’s Trent Murphy by keeping him at bay and away from the ball. He squares his body toward speed rushers and keeps them clear of the backfield.
Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
There is no such thing as having too many pass rushers. The Seahawks demonstrated that last season with the usage of Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett and Bruce Irvin. Those were just the defensive ends.
What Seattle does better than most is use their inside guys to their full advantage.
A run stuffing DT is the prototype at the position.
Things have changed some and defensive tackles are becoming hybrid beasts: big enough to fill the gaps in the line, but agile and fast enough to break through line and close in on the ball carrier.
Timmy Jernigan is exactly that beast.
An athletic freak, Jernigan could roam the line and hit oncoming traffic in any gap in the line.
His most dangerous feature, however, was the fact that he didn’t NEED to bulldoze his blocker. Jernigan can run past them using several techniques or by simply using the speed he frequently shocks people with.