2014 NFL Draft: 5 Late-Round Sleepers Seattle Seahawks Should Target
Seattle Seahawks: 5 Late-Round Targets
Nobody has had more success than the Seattle Seahawks when it comes to finding late round gems and turning them into key contributors. General Manager John Schneider and his staff have done an incredible job of pin-pointing talented players late in the draft who fit Pete Carroll's system well, and that is a huge reason why they are now Super Bowl champions.
Schneider and Carroll first joined forces with the Seahawks in January of 2010. They immediately completely revamped the roster, mostly through the draft. They had two first round picks in that first season, and they selected Russell Okung and Earl Thomas. Both players were great picks and became fantastic players in Seattle. While the first round was great, even more impressive to me, was Seattle landing Golden Tate in the 3rd round, Walter Thurmond in the 4th and Kam Chancellor in the 5th. All very important pieces on their recent Super Bowl team.
There are many other cases in the past few seasons of the Seahawks landing late round steals. Shut-down CB Richard Sherman was a 5th round pick, Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith was a 7th round pick and of course QB Russell Wilson was taken in the 3rd round, trust me, I could go on. Simply put, the Seahawks have built the most talented roster in the league, using a core of late-round players.
Schneider and his team obviously know what they are doing, and they will surely land at least a few more impact starters in this draft. There are not many obvious holes on this team, but with their core players reaching free agency very soon, adding depth is key. The Seahawks are obviously a team to watch in the 2014 NFL Draft, especially in day two and three. Here are five sleepers, who I think would fit well in Seattle, and need to be on their radar.
5. Dominique Easley: DT, Florida
Dominique Easley is one of the most interesting prospects in this draft. Injuries are very much a concern for Easley, as he has torn his ACL in both knees within the past three seasons. When he is on the field, Easley has great power and speed that allows him to rush the passer effectively and play stout against the run. Easley's burst off of the line is incredible, and he was always productive when on the field. The Seahawks need some defensive line depth, but would have the luxury to allow Easley to get healthy. It would be a risky pick, but I think Easley would fit well in Seattle, and his upside is massive.
4. Devin Street: WR, Pittsburgh
The Seahawks have a solid WR core, but they could certainly use some more size at the position. At 6-foot-3, Devin Street could be their guy. Street is a little thin at 198 pounds, so ideally he would add some bulk. That being said, he has arguably the best hands in this draft, and is great at going up and high pointing the ball. He does not have blazing speed, but I believe he is fast enough to make an impact in the NFL. Street is a type of WR that Seattle simply does not have right now.
3. Dakota Dozier: OG, Furman
Probably the biggest need that the Seahawks have right now is the offensive guard position. James Carpenter and J.R. Sweezy were decent in 2013, but room for improvement is certainly there. Dakota Dozier is one of my favorite interior lineman prospects in this draft, and because he went to a small school, he could come at a great value. Dozier has nice footwork and technique, while showing the speed and athleticism necessary for the position. He also has great run blocking skills that would certainly come in handy in Seattle's run first offense. Dozier is an obvious target for Seattle in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft.
2. Telvin Smith: LB, Florida State
After an incredible combine, it may be a stretch to call Telvin Smith a sleeper. Smith is one of the most talented defensive prospects in this draft. While he is listed as a linebacker, Smith is a bit of a tweener. Too small to play LB, too big to play safety. Smith showed incredible raw athleticism at the combine, which makes me think he could play the safety position if needed. This reminds me of when Seattle took Chancellor in the 2010 draft. Seattle should target Smith, because he is an incredibly talented player. The position he plays will work itself out.
1. C.J. Fiedorowicz: TE, Iowa
With starting TE Zach Miller likely on his way out of town, the Seahawks will likely add to the position in the draft. In my opinion, the best value at the position is currently C.J. Fiedorowicz. At 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, Fiedorowicz has ideal size for a TE. While he is not going to burn you deep, Fiedorowicz has underrated speed and athleticism. In the passing game, Fiedorowicz does a majority of his damage in the short to intermediate range, especially excelling in the red zone. On top of that, Fiedorowicz is far and away the best blocking TE in this class. I believe he is an underrated prospect that the Seahawks must have their eyes on.