The NFL draft Fantasy Preview Series : Cleveland – Chicago – San Francisco – Jacksonville – LA Rams – Tennessee – Jets – Chargers – Panthers – Bengals – Bills – Vikings – Cardinals – Saints – Eagles – Colts – Ravens –Redskins – Lions – Buccaneers – Broncos – Giants – Texans – Raiders – Cowboys – Chiefs
Team Needs: OT, DT, CB
Projected Top Three Picks:
First Round- Garrett Bolles, OT Utah
Second Round- Zay Jones, WR East Carolina
Third Round- Larry Ogunjobi, DT Charlotte
The Seattle Seahawks will come into the 2017 draft with quite possibly the exact same agenda they had last season. They need help on the offensive line and to find an extra playmaker on offense. If the Seahawks could find some consistency along the o-line, establish a run game and give Russell Wilson some time, then this offense could propel the team back into the Super Bowl.
In the first-round, they’ll likely go back to the OT well with the pick of Garrett Bolles. Bolles is still building as an OT, but he has the natural strength and athletic ability to thrive in the NFL. He has quick feet and can seemingly block from any angle. Once he builds more muscle in the NFL, he could project out to be great starter in the league. This type of player could make an immediate impact for Seattle, which has struggled to find players that can hold blocks along the line, killing this offense the last two years. The Seahawks may be looking to implement a power running game with Eddie Lacy now in town, and that type of scheme will be right up Bolles’ alley.
With the second pick, Seattle will take a stab at Zay Jones at WR. Jones holds the FBS record in career receptions, primarily due to the scheme he played in and the number of targets he would see on a weekly basis. But that’s not to say he can’t play at the next level, because he definitely can. He has plus size and strength, and will be able to catch anything thrown his way. He can be a possession receiver type in the West Coast offensive scheme the Seahawks use, and he could have some Fantasy value in his rookie year. Jones will be a dynasty asset in Fantasy, but a waiver wire pickup in season-long leagues.
By his standards, Russell Wilson had a down year in 2016. The TDs and rushing numbers both dropped from the previous season, while he became more efficient as a passer. Wilson’s struggles emanated from the amount of pressure he received due to the team’s below average offensive line. If the coaching staff can clear up these issues, then you can expect a return to form from Wilson in 2017. His Fantasy value truly comes from his rushing numbers, and when he is running this offense is hitting on all cylinders. Now that he is fully back to health, I see him running more this coming season. Wilson continues to hover around the Top 5 projected QBs off the board in drafts, but I would be more comfortable with him around QB8.
On the outside, it’s Doug Baldwin or bust in terms of Fantasy value for the Seahawks’ receivers. Baldwin finished just shy of 100 catches in 2016, and should remain the focus of this passing attack this season. Baldwin is currently valued at the low-end WR2 range and will likely come off the board sometime in Round 6. If he can manage to stay on the field, Tyler Lockett provides a lot of upside potential, but he is merely a late-round flier at this point. Jimmy Graham had somewhat successful season, and will look to ride that momentum into 2017. Graham’s Fantasy value will see him drafted just outside the Top 5 at the position in drafts, but he can definitely exceed that value.
With the signing of Eddie Lacy, you have to assume that the Seahawks will employ a thunder and lightning approach to the running attack alongside C.J. Prosise. Lacy will see plenty of the early down work and the goal-line opportunities, whereas Prosise will see the majority of receptions and mix in on the run game. Lacy has the potential to have a good year in Seattle if he is motivated. He should easily close in on 10 TDs, but the yardage could be hard to come by behind this offensive line, one of the worst in the league in run-blocking last year. Lacy should be viewed as a fringe RB2/RB3 right now in drafts. Prosise has a ton of upside in PPR leagues, and will come off the board as a RB3 during the draft. If one of these two RBs could separate from the other, you could have a RB1 on your hands, but expect the committee approach to last the entire year.
Passing Offense- 257.8 YPG (10th)
Running Offense- 99.4 YPG (25th)
Points Per Game- 22.1 PPG (18th)
Top Fantasy Performers:
QB- Russell Wilson, 256 points
RB- Thomas Rawls, 56 points
WR- Doug Baldwin, 152 points
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