“Before the LOB [Legion of Boom] was the LOB, they were just a bunch of kids outta college trying to make a name on the field. They had to start somewhere, and I feel like why can’t we?”
Without knowing it, Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald possibly summed up the Seattle Seahawks 2018 defense in one quote.
The six-year vet is getting a lot of press lately due to the contract holdout of safety Earl Thomas and the medical status of S Kam Chancellor. However, he is not the only “new guy” that could be making a splash this season. There are a handful of players ready to continue the great tradition of defense for Seattle.
Let me just say straight from the start, any questions that surround Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas have nothing to do with him as a player. He is, without question, a once in a generation safety. The only questions around Thomas have to do with his contract and his team.
With that out of the way…
I am a firm believer that once you have a player that absolutely dominates in his position within the NFL, you hold on to him. When a player has the term “Future Hall of Famer” attached to him, you keep him. You pay him. Of course, every player starts to decline at some point, but until that point (or even just slightly past), you keep him on your roster. In this reporter’s opinion, this is the case with Earl Thomas.
The most excitement recently surrounding the LA Rams began even before the 2018 NFL Draft began! To begin with, the Rams already had a pretty solid roster. They then added wide receiver Brandin Cooks, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, cornerback Aqib Talib, and CB Marcus Peters.
I’ll admit, I’ve been a Suh fan for going on more than 10 years now, having worked with him and his agent closely at a previous job, although I recognize how polarizing he is. I was ecstatic when the Rams picked him up.
The draft may have started slowly for LA Rams fans, with no picks on the first day, but it quickly picked up momentum. On the second and third days of the draft, general manager Les Snead brought in 11 players.
I’ll admit I can’t quit tearing up thinking about it. In fact, I’ve seen more people talk about how they cried during this draft than any other draft before. This one got us straight in the feels.
We all wanted our favorite team to draft linebacker Shaquem Griffin in this years NFL draft. We wanted to see his name called, for him to walk across that stage, and put on the hat that said our team’s name. For Seattle Seahawks fans, this want was even greater than most.
Seattle fans spent all last season in awe of a rookie with the last name of Griffin. After struggling just a bit at the beginning of the season, cornerback Shaquill Griffin not only won the starting CB position across from CB Richard Sherman, he nailed it. Seahawks finally had their bookend for Sherman. When Sherman got hurt and was out for the season, it was Shaquill Griffin who stepped up. He owned his position and became an instant fan favorite.
The first four all went in the top 10 but it took a while for Jackson to find a home. In what may have been the most joyful moment of the evening for a lot of his fans, the Ravens traded back into the first round to get him at 32. Two went to the AFC North and two went to the AFC East. Both those divisions are going to see the quality of competition rise significantly in the next couple years.
My last article regarding the Seattle Seahawks and the 2018 NFL Draft talked about their history of trading out of the first round. Well, this year there was a trade where Seattle traded out of the 18th pick, however, the Seahawks shocked their fans by actually using the 27th pick.
Seattle used that 1st round pick to get San Diego State University running back Rashaad Penny. Penny was the nation’s leading rusher with 2,248 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was also very good on special teams, returning 2 kick returns for TDs, and 1 punt return for a TD. Penny was fifth in Heisman voting this year.
To some, taking him in the 1st round was a stretch, seeing him as a 2nd to 3rd round player. Others were thrilled to pick him up before someone else grabbed him.
Mock drafts. The mainstay of football media in the weeks leading up to the NFL draft. Hundreds of journalists guessing who will take who and when. It’s a monumental job that, traditionally, most get very wrong. The inconsistency of NFL general managers and coaches make this a difficult task, and Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll are some of the most unpredictable in the league.
Go ahead and ask a Seahawks fan who they think Seattle will take in first round. Doesn’t matter the year, you will get the same reaction – a laugh. With the exception of 2016 when they took offensive tackle Germain Ifedi, the Seahawks have traded out of their first round pick every year since 2012.
Both Schneider and Carroll covet having a lot of draft picks. They have become masters at finding good value in the mid rounds, and in this year’s draft, they don’t have many. Seattle currently holds a first round pick, but then has nothing again until the fourth round. Most teams would be happy with eight picks, but its because of where those picks lie that I can see Seattle trading out of that first round.
Earlier we had listed the first 15 draft picks with a trade. Let’s see what happens with the rest of the teams and who will get drafted from 16-32. So here is the final attempt in Round 1 of the NFL Draft.
Free agency is pretty much on the quiet front with some players still trickling on to teams, such as quarterback Blaine Gabbert to the Tennessee Titans, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to the Los Angeles Rams. But now it’s all about the draft and filling the holes that will make or break a team. So here is my attempt at Round 1 of the NFL Draft.