Most teams in the NFL have a first-round draft pick, but the Seattle Seahawks are one of the few exceptions. With that being said, if you’re a Seahawks fan, it’s really not as much fun to talk about the first round as it is for most other fans around the league.
The focus of the 12th man is day two and three of the draft and wondering who may be the next mid-late round find by head coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider. Under their direction, each draft has produced great mid-round gems such as Kam Chancellor in the fifth round in 2010, Richard Sherman in the fifth round in 2011, and Russell Wilson in the third round in 2012.
These players aren’t the only mid-round gems, but they represent the best value for where they were taken each year in the last three offseasons.
Who could this next find be and which round will he be taken?
One name I would like to throw out there is outside linebacker Sean Porter of Texas A&M. Anyone can speculate on who could be the next great player drafted in the first round of the draft, but it is harder to go out on a limb by promoting someone who may not get drafted in the first couple of rounds.
Porter checked in at the NFL Combine standing 6-foot-1 and weighing 229 pounds. He ran the 40 yard dash in 4.75 seconds, and he improved those numbers at his Pro Day when he ran in times of 4.65 and 4.63. Although the combine time may not be fast enough for Carroll in his quest for speed at linebacker, it’s important to note that Porter is quick and seems to play faster than his timed speed.
In 2011, Porter recorded 9.5 sacks for the Aggies as he replaced Von Miller as the focal point of being the terrorizing pass rusher in their 4-3 defense. However, the Aggies brought in a new coaching staff and scheme this past season, and Porter found himself as simply an outside linebacker in a new 3-4 scheme where he was no longer the focal point.
He played both the weak and strong side for the team and that has more to do with his sack numbers declining than the quality of his play. If anything, the switch in defenses made him a more complete player as he heads towards a career in the NFL. He now has more experience in coverage, although he still managed 3.5 sacks this past season.
While some teams may view Porter as a tweener, Carroll and Schneider have proven that they will pick players with unique talents who can fill a certain role on their team. They have also proven that if they have a talented player without a specific role, they will create one if it means the player can help the team while the rest of the league tries to draft players as round pegs and are hoping to fit them into square holes.
Porter is a player I believe the defensive coaches for the Seahawks can get creative with and could potentially have 6-8 sacks in his rookie season. He would be an unknown athlete that opponentss would not game plan for, as they will be more worried about players such as Cliff Avril, Bruce Irvin, and Chris Clemons when he returns from ACL surgery this past January. Porter could sneak in and become a factor with his ability to make plays.
Knowing what I know of Carroll, he likes players who have “length” and Porter does not have long arms. That is the only potential hurdle I can see from him being taken by the Seahawks. However, the organization struck gold last year in the third round when they took a certain quarterback who supposedly didn’t have enough length with respect to being vertical.
Maybe lightning can strike again and the Seahawks can find another productive mid-round pick this Friday or Saturday by drafting Porter?