Coming off their worst season since 2011, the Seattle Seahawks attacked key positions of need with most of their picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, filling gaping roster holes in hopes of returning to the limelight.
Seattle entered the draft with little to no reliable talent in their backfield, as evidenced by the fact that quarterback Russell Wilson led the team in rushing yards and attempts at 586 and 95, respectively. Former South Carolina product Mike Davis finished second on the team in yards with just 240 across 68 attempts (3.5 YPC).
As such, Seahawks general manager John Schneider wasted no time in improving the running back position, selecting former San Diego State standout Rashaad Penny with the No. 27 overall pick. Contrary to the “consensus,” Penny stood tall as our second-ranked running back in the draft class. In his first year as the go-to back on the Mesa, Penny led the draft class in forced missed tackles (80), breakaway percentage (57.6) and ranked second in our elusive rating (128.6). He also earned a career-high 88.9 overall grade for his efforts.
Following the Penny addition, Seattle made just one pick on Day 2 of the draft, selecting former USC interior defender Rasheem Green. The 6-foot-4, 275-pounder didn’t have too much success against the run during his collegiate career, but his ability as a pass-rusher has improved every year. He earned a career-high 85.3 pass-rush grade in 2017, totaling 48 total pressures on the season.
Schneider then mined some hidden gems in Rounds 5-7, picking up former UCF edge defender Shaquem Griffin, Texas punter Michael Dickson, Ohio State offensive tackle Jamarco Jones and FIU quarterback Alex McGough.
Well-documented throughout the draft process for beating the odds on the field with just one hand, Griffin is a high-motor, versatile defender that offers Week 1 value as a moving chess piece in Seattle’s defense. He earned 86.8-plus overall grades in each of his past two seasons with the Knights.
Jones also has potential to play early in Seattle despite coming off the board late in the fifth-round. Slotted as our third-ranked offensive tackle and 32nd overall player, Jones has the measurables to develop into a premier bookend at the next level. He has improved his grades every year of his career, finishing the 2017 season with career-high marks across the board.
With just Austin Davis in his way, McGough has a real shot to come out of the offseason as Seattle’s No. 2 signal-caller behind Wilson. McGough earned an 87.5 overall grade in 2017, which was good for the fifth-highest grade among all qualifying FBS quarterbacks.
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