It’s never too early to look towards the future. Almost a month has passed since the 2020 NFL Draft, but fans are ready to find out what additions their favorite team could make in 2021. Myself and the rest of the NFL Mock Draft Database team will speculate upon those additions in the coming weeks through team specific mock drafts. I’ll begin by projecting the 2021 picks of my hometown team, the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks will be considered strong playoff contenders going into the 2020 season. MVP candidate Russell Wilson is enjoying the prime of his career, but a lacking defense could hold the team back from achieving its true potential. Seattle could fly as high as 12-4 in 2020, but a tough strength of schedule could see their record fall to a disappointing 9-7.
Based on these projections, we currently have the Seahawks at 10-6 in 2020. This would place them at Pick 22 in the 2021 draft, as the Vikings picked at 22 after a 10-6 record in 2020. This means that Seattle likely fell short of a deep playoff run, and is now looking for new talent on both sides of the ball. Allow me to introduce my first 3-Round Seattle Seahawks Mock Draft of the 2021 season.
At Pick 22, Seattle added an explosive piece to their offense in Purdue’s Rondale Moore. The 5’9”, 180-pound receiver is an undersized yet lethal weapon with incredible speed, balance, and elusiveness. Moore has the ability to contribute on both offense and special teams due to his abilities as a returner.
In 2018, Moore became the first true freshman in Big Ten history to receive consensus All-American honors. He was a First Team All-Big Ten Wide Receiver and Returner, set the Purdue single season record for all-purpose yards (2,215), and received the Paul Hornug Award as the most versatile player in college football. Even though his 2019 season was limited to 4 games (hamstring injury), it’s clear that Moore is a first round talent primed to rewrite more record books in 2020.
The Seahawks haven’t had a reliable slot receiver since the retirement of Doug Baldwin, and the arrival of Moore would immediately fill the void. He’d join Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf to create an elite receiving trio. I’d be surprised if Moore doesn’t shoot up draft boards in the coming months as he’s primed to have another standout season. If available at Pick 22, he’s a no-brainer for a Seattle coaching staff that idolizes speedy playmakers.
In the second round, Seattle took another Big Ten talent in Jackson, a senior tackle from Iowa. The 6’6”, 320-pound goliath could be the heir apparent to current left tackle Duane Brown, who is entering his 13th NFL season. If Brown does retire after the 2020 season, Jackson could immediately step in at left tackle to protect franchise cornerstone Russell Wilson.
By the time of the 2021 Draft, Jackson will have been a four-year starter at Iowa. He received All-Big Ten honors in 2018 and 2019, and now enters 2020 with high expectations after the departure of star tackle (and first round pick) Tristan Wirfs. Jackson had the opportunity to enter the 2020 Draft as a mid-tier prospect, but opted to return to school for his senior year. This would make him a stellar fit in Seattle, where management has been known to target players with significant college experience.
Jackson’s 2019 season was constantly hampered by a knee injury, so a strong performance in 2020 could send him rising up draft boards. If he falls to Seattle at Pick 54, his massive frame and affinity for run blocking will find a home on the Seahawks’ roster.
The Seahawks decided to fortify their defensive line in the third round with Onwuzurike, a versatile defensive tackle out of Washington. The 6’3”, 288-pound Texas native is best known for his abilities as a run-stopper, but can rush the passer with impressive technique.
The Seahawks will enter 2021 just as they entered 2020: Desperately lacking depth along the defensive line. Aside for Jarran Reed and Poona Ford, the tackle position presents the largest lack of talent. Onwuzurike would be a significant step in the right direction as a rangy, athletic defender with significant college experience. His agility and lateral quickness would bode well in a Seattle scheme that demands athleticism along the defensive line.
As a local, experienced, and versatile talent, Onwuzurike meets every expectation of a Seattle draft pick. Don’t be surprised if the 2019 All-Pac 12 tackle makes the short journey from Husky Stadium to CenturyLink Field in 2021.