How does the Seattle Seahawks 2016 NFL Draft class look three years later?
In 2016, the Seahawks had made the playoffs for the previous four years on the strength of a shutdown defense, a literally seismic running game, and an immensly resourceful quarterback. The Legion of Boom, Marshawn Lynch, and Russell Wilson wreaked havoc on their opponents in the first half of the decade. 2015 should have been more of the same. The defense crushed it as they led the league in fewest points allowed for the fourth straight year.
Wilson had by far the best season of his career to that point. Lynch missed nine games but Thomas Rawls was terrific as his backup. Yet the Seahawks lost six games and lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Panthers. The offensive line wasn’t the same since they traded center Max Unger for Jimmy Graham, and with the retirement of Lynch, they needed another running back.
Sports Illustrated’s Doug Farrar called out the Seahawks for targeting potential over actual production, and they also got the Jarran Reed pick right as the one to herald.
FanSided applauded the moves to bolster the lines, calling it a “solid haul for general manager John Schneider.”
Round 1 (No. 31)
As usual, Seattle worked the phones in this draft, swapping their original 26th pick to Denver for this slot and the 94th overall pick in Round 3. Coach Pete Carroll wanted an imposing beast tackle and he got one. Unfortunately, Ifedi was pretty raw, and his technique often negated his power. It took the arrival of line coach Mike Solari in 2018 to bring Ifedi even close to justifying his draft position.
It wasn’t a great draft for offensive linemen. Ifedi was moved from guard to tackle after his rookie year. Ronnie Stanley and Jack Conklin are the only tackles who’ve turned out appreciably better than Ifedi, and they were both gone by the ninth pick overall, so the Hawks couldn’t have done much better drafting at that position. In hindsight, Seattle could have kept trading down and taken guard Joe Thuney in the third round.
Round 2 (No. 49)
The Seahawks reversed course and traded up here, sending pick 56 (second round) and pick 124 (fourth round) to the Falcons. Carroll made it clear the Hawks wanted a disruptive, athletic tackle. It took three years, but that’s exactly what they got in Reed. Reed became an absolute force for the Seahawks in 2018. Four defensive tackles were taken in the first round in 2016, and Reed is better than any of them. Assuming 2018 marked a new level of performance, this was a very solid pick.
Round 3 (No. 90)
This is where the draft started going off the rails for the Seahawks. Prosise had the size and speed Seattle wanted to contend with Thomas Rawls as the starting back. At the least, he was expected to be an exceptional third-down option as he played wide receiver his first two seasons at Notre Dame. With the exception of one spectacular game against the New England Patriots, Prosise unfortunately became the poster boy for careers ruined by injury.
When he was healthy, Prosise was really something. Sadly, he was only healthy for about four games in three years. For the record, this draft was very light on running backs; Prosise was the fourth back taken, despite hearing 89 names called before his. There was one gem that wasn’t selected until the fifth round though. That would be Jordan Howard.
Round 3 (No. 94)
Vanett was selected with the extra pick Seattle got from Denver in their move to get Ifedi. He hasn’t exactly lit the league on fire, but he’s been a dependable blocker who can pull in the occasional pass. If Will Dissly comes back healthy, his days as a starter are over, but he’s still a fine complement to Seattle’s offensive scheme. Vannett kept his starting gig even when Ed Dickson got back on the field. That speaks volumes for his role on the team. Still, it isn’t a ton of production, which is why Dissly will take over again in 2019. Staying at tight end, the Hawks couldn’t have done better at that point. Tyler Higbee has marginally better stats, but the Rams thew 140 more passes last year. Vannett is fine.
Round 3 (No. 97)
Seattle selected Odhiambo with a compensatory pick, the first of three they had in 2016. He played tackle in college, but the Hawks saw him as a guard. He never quite found his footing with Seattle, moving from guard to tackle, and was released after two seasons in the Emerald City. He spent 2018 in Arizona, but only played one snap on special teams. It’s tempting to say he’s another victim of former line coach Tom Cable, but Odhiambo did almost nothing with the Cardinals. Several decent tackles were selected in the fifth round, players like Joe Haeg and Brandon Shell. Guard Wes Schweitzer lasted until the sixth round; any of these players would have been far better than Odhiambo.
Round 5 (No. 147)
Seattle traded their 2017 fourth-round pick and their round 7 (225th overall) to the Patriots for this pick and the 243rd pick overall in round 7. Jefferson spent his first two seasons as a backup, but got his chance to start in 2018. Let’s just say he wasn’t exactly Jarran Reed. We can also say there’s a reason Mike Solari is sky-high on the potential of Poona Ford. Jefferson did have 3 sacks and 15 quarterback hits last year, so it isn’t that he’s terrible. But Pro Football Focus ranked him 100th of all interior linemen. This was not a Richard Sherman type fifth-round pick. Again, Jordan Howard was taken just three picks later.
Round 5 (No. 171)
This is a tricky one for me. Collins couldn’t beat Christine Michael, Rawls or Prosise to get a single start. Yet he wasn’t bad at all when he was on the field. He had a 4.0 rushing average and caught all 11 passes thrown his way. He led Seattle in rushing in the 2017 preseason, but was released. All he did then was lead the Ravens in the regular season with 973 yards and 6 touchdowns. He dropped off considerably last season, and has now landed in some off-field trouble. He has almost 1,400 yards and 13 touchdowns since leaving Seattle. Not a thing wrong with this pick, just with how Seattle managed him.
Round 6 (No. 215)
Hunt has been a solid contributor to the Seahawks offensive line over two seasons. He spent all of 2017 on the practice squad but played his way back to the 53 man roster in 2018. Hunt has moved all over the line, and his versatility has been a major factor in keeping his roster spot. He’s appeared in 20 games and made 3 starts. It’s a crapshoot at this level, but Austin Blythe would have been a better pick.
Round 7 (No. 243)
Lawler spent part of 2016 and 2017 bouncing from the practice squad to civilian life and back again for Seattle. He never played in a game that mattered, but at least he drew some paychecks.
Round 7 (No. 247)
He followed an even more convoluted path than Lawler. Brooks bounced from practice squad to practice squad. He started with the Seahawks, was cut and signed with the Chiefs, then back to Seattle, wound up with the Broncos, and then retired before the 2017 season began. One year and out. Listen, they can’t all be Chris Carson.
I’d have to say that any time you draft 10 players and six are still in the league three seasons later, it is a decent draft. Ifedi and Odhiambo pull this down to a C, though.
Germain Ifedi wasn’t exactly a whiff, but you’d certainly rather see your first round pick not floundering in his first two seasons. Seattle also loses points for the selection of Prosise, when he was known to have injury problems in college. The pick of Odhiambo was not good. However, Jarran Reed has turned out to be even better than the Seahawks hoped, Vannett has been solid, and Jefferson can at least play. Collins proved to have more than Seattle saw from him, and Hunt has been a decent jack-of-all trades for the line. Typical of the Seahawks, they found value in the late rounds.