Over the course of May, both Kyle Crabbs and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today I look at the Seattle Seahawks.
The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:
|35||DT||Malik McDowell||Michigan State|
|58||C||Ethan Pocic||Louisiana State|
|90||CB||Shaq Griffin||Central Florida|
|102||DT||Nazair Jones||North Carolina|
|210||OT||Justin Senior||Mississippi State|
|249||RB||Chris Carson||Oklahoma State|
Malik McDowell is a versatile defensive lineman that can win with finesse and power. With the quickness to sidestep blocks, McDowell is able to shoot gaps and has the outstanding flexibility necessary to bend around offensive linemen. Also capable of winning with power components, McDowell can handle power right at him by leveraging his hips and halting blocks with powerful hands. As a pass rusher, McDowell has the quickness and length that easily puts stress on an offensive lineman’s feet to stay square with his surge.
The gripe on McDowell is a clear lack of consistency that is maddening. Given his exciting physical traits, McDowell has been a bit of a underachiever, but the traits and skill set are present and that of an NFL starter.
Worst Value: DL Nazair Jones, North Carolina
Nazair Jones is a powerful but raw defender that must develop consistency with his technique to have an impact at the next level. He has a fairly powerful anchor and the strength in his hands necessary to remain stout against the run when he plays with leverage.
Jones doesn’t have excitable pass rushing upside due to a lack of twitch, pass rush repertoire, or plan of attack. His length and power in his upper body are building blocks that will serve him well in his development. Jones profiles as an eventual rotational player with upside should he develop and become more refined.
Could Surprise: S Tedric Thompson, Colorado
Tedric Thompson is an excellent coverage safety that performs well in deep zones. He does well to read the quarterback and work to the football where he has the range to close in on the pass. He has some of the best ball skills in the class and knows how to compete for the football, disrupt passes and secure interceptions.
As a tackler, Thompson demonstrates a passive approach and does not attack the ball carrier with physicality or a willingness to square up and compete. Instead, he prefers to nip at ankles and grab from the side. If Thompson can improve his approach to tackling then he should be a starting free safety. If that remains a deficiency then he’s a sub package player who doesn’t have the demeanor needed to play on special teams coverage units.