2. Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M
3. Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State
4. Luke Marquardt, T, Azusa Pacific
5. Stefan Charles, DT, Regina
5. Kyle Juszczyk, FB, Harvard
6. Duke Williams, S, Nevada
7. Terrell Sinkfield, WR, Northern Iowa
7. Cooper Taylor, CB/SS/LB, Richmond
7. Quinn Sharp, K, Oklahoma State
7. BJ Daniels, QB, Southern Florida
Ten to watch for UDFA (Seattle has met with all of these players except Michael Clay):
Michael Clay, LB/SS, Oregon
Rufus Johnson, DE, Tarleton State
Russell Shepard, WR/KR/CB, LSU
Craig Wilkins, LB, Old Dominion
Martel Moore, WR, Northern Illinois
Perez Ashford, WR, Northern Illinois
Mike Catapano, DE, Princeton
Brice Butler, CB/WR, San Diego State
Greg Herd, WR, Eastern Washington
Justin Glenn, SS, Washington
Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M
It's impossible to know who's going to be available at #56. I'm sure there will be a few highly rated surprises that make it. Since I can't guess who those surprise fallers will be, I'm going to mock the player I think will grade the highest while having an excellent chance of reaching our pick. For me, that's Christine Michael, for a couple reasons (both of which have been admitted by John Schneider himself).
The first reason is that Seattle grades by athleticism first. Christine Michael has one of the absolute highest athleticism grades in the draft. It stands to reason then that he'd have a very high baseline grade for the Seahawks.
The 2nd reason is that Seattle grades based on roster upgrade. We don't "need" a top shelf running back, but we don't really need a top shelf anything right now.
Christine Michael's exuberance from his VMAC visit was plain to see. I have to think he wouldn't have felt that way if PC/JS didn't do something to inject him with excitement during his visit. In other words, excitement is contagious, and I think Michael caught a case of it from Schneider and Carroll.
Michael has been a draft riser and it's starting to look less likely that he'll reach Seattle's 3rd round pick. There are probably 20 different directions I could see Seattle going at #56 (including Kyle Long, despite my protests), but Michael strikes me as the most likely.
Christine Michael had an offiical visit with the Seahawks.
Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State
I think Escobar is clearly the best of the second tier of tight ends, based on his tape. He didn't perform well on a track, but his field speed is above average and he's decent enough as a blocker. There is just something about the way Escobar reaches up and snatches the football that makes me think he's going to be highly productive in the NFL. His catching technique might be the best in this draft among the tight end group.
Vance McDonald would not surprise me, and Nick Kasa could be an option in the 4th or 5th if they push this priority down the list. Kasa has measurables that are virtually identical to Anthony McCoy the draft prospect. I think Seattle would be fine with any of the top 7 TE prospects, but Escobar strikes me as the best value.
Luke Marquardt, T, Azusa Pacific
He's got a lot of Nate Solder in his game, and Solder was very highly rated by Seattle in 2011.
Stefan Charles, DT, Regina
Charles has Jason Jones type agility in an Alan Branch type body. Had he played for a major program in the US, I doubt he'd escape the 2nd round.
Stefan Charles had an offiical visit with the Seahawks.
Kyle Juszczyk, FB, Harvard
NFL Draft Scout has Juszczyk down as a late 4th rounder. That's crazy high for a fullback, especially in today's NFL where the fullback is used increasingly less often. You watch Juszczyk's tape though, and you understand the hype. There's a lot of Gronkowski to his game, enough to make you wonder if he should move back to his original position: tight end.
Seattle initially carried five running backs last season. They wanted to have insurance for Michael Robinson. Robinson is 30 years old this season. Juszczyk is also a versatile athlete, which will help his cause as a backup.
Kyle Juszczyk had an offiical visit with the Seahawks.
Duke Williams, S, Nevada
Williams has the speed of Chris Maragos but the hitting ability of Earl Thomas. Assignment correct and a good tackler, Williams has the the kind of ability against the run you'd like for an in the box safety while having the speed to serve as depth for Earl Thomas. Chris Maragos is due $1.3 million this season. Replacing him with a rookie would save $800k+.
Duke Williams had an offiical visit with the Seahawks.
Terrell Sinkfield, WR, Northern Iowa
I think Seattle will probably load up on receivers in the late stretches of the draft a bit like they did last year. Given that there are as many as 25 draftable receivers this year, you can expect some shocking quality to remain in the late rounds. I almost had us taking Cobi Hamilton here, but after researching further I ended up going with Sinkfield.
Sinkfield ran an unofficial 4.19 (officially 4.33) at Minnesota's pro-day event, and did so in a 6'0¼", 198 pound body. Sinkfield isn't just a pure speed guy either- he's tough. Watch how fearless he is going over the middle and into contact. He has strong hands and good balance, and after the catch he's got good moves to go with his speed.
Seattle is among the teams rumored to be interested in Sinkfield, according to Tony Pauline.
Cooper Taylor, CB/SS/LB, Richmond
I don't think I've mocked any player more than Cooper Taylor. Ever. You guys know the drill by now.
Cooper Taylor had an offiical visit with the Seahawks.
Quinn Sharp, K, Oklahoma State
If Seattle is going to draft a kicker, they need to make sure he has a stronger leg than Steven Hauschka. Because accuracy hasn't been a problem for him. Sharp made a 60 yard attempt at his pro-day.
Quinn Sharp had an official visit with the Seahawks.
BJ Daniels, QB, Southern Florida
One of my favorite late round prospects. I wrote about BJ Daniels as a QB to watch for last month, before it was revealed that he received an official visit with Seattle.
Notes on UDFA:
You can read my take on the UDFA list by reading through my visit series on Seahawks draft blog: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V.
The only name not included is Michael Clay. Clay did not receive a visit offer from the Seahawks, which probably doesn't bode well if you want him to be a Seahawk, since local visits do not count against the limit. Still, I included Clay on my watch list because I feel he is superior in every possible way to Luke Batton, who actually did get a visit.