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Will Seahawks draft Washington State tackle Abraham Lucas?
Now that we know his name: probably not
I enrolled at Washington State University in 2003. My arrival to Pullman seemed to then set in motion the downfall of the Cougars football program for the next 20 years—though it’s not like Wazzu had experienced much success prior to my transfer from Bellevue Community College either.
Since ‘03, Washington State has had 25 players drafted over 19 draft classes. That includes only three first round picks—Marcus Trufant in 2003, Deone Bucannon in 2014, and Andre Dillard in 2019—and ZERO picks in the second round. Add that up really quick: 19 years, 19 first rounds, 19 second rounds, three picks from a Pac-12 football program.
What have I done?!
Throw into the fire that since Trufant in ‘03, Wazzu hasn’t produced a single first or second round pick who was good. Bucannon had his moments with the Arizona Cardinals but ultimately falls into the “semi-bust” category; he was most recently a 28-year-old practice squad player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and out of football entirely in 2021. Dillard, a 6’5, 315 lb tackle who tore up the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, has managed only 677 snaps for the Philadelphia Eagles during his three-year career and is expected to be traded or released this offseason.
Will Dillard’s poor pro reputation negatively impact one of his former Cougars line mates, who also just crushed the combine in eerily similar fashion?
In this week’s “Ask 100 Seahawks Fans” poll, I left a section at the bottom for voters to give me names of prospects who they’d like me to cover in more depth and the number one answer by far was Abraham Lucas. I don’t know to what degree I influenced that response based on using a tweet of Pete Carroll as he was watching Lucas run the 40, but it doesn’t take a blue checkmark’d twitter account to understand why fans would want to connect Seattle to a local offensive lineman of high regard.
Since UW tackle Jaxson Kirkland was a bit forced to return to the Huskies because of an injury, Lucas stepped into the spotlight—and he did it quickly.
In this week’s fan survey—you can still get your votes in and remember to SUBSCRIBE TO SEASIDE JOE to participate/read future Seahawks polls—every time I gave an offensive lineman as the answer, he CRUSHED the competition.
His this button:
This year, as every year since I started covering the Seahawks in 2011, fans want more offensive linemen of note. And despite their reputation for never giving the fans what they want, Pete and John regularly deliver by drafting more offensive linemen than average:
Stone Forsythe in 2021; Damien Lewis in 2020; Phil Haynes in 2019; Jamarco Jones in 2018; Ethan Pocic and Justin Senior in 2017; Germain Ifedi, Rees Odhiambo, and Joey Hunt in 2016; Terry Poole, Mark Glowinski, and Kristjan Sokoli in 2015; Justin Britt and Garrett Scott in 2014; Ryan Seymour and Michael Bowie in 2013; James Carpenter and John Moffitt in 2011; Russell Okung, Pete’s first pick with Seattle, in 2010.
I know what you’re going to say: “Not good enough, not early enough.”
It’s true that if you compare Ifedi to tackles taken in the top-15 of the first round, he won’t measure up. The same could be said of Carpenter. It’s true that the Seahawks haven’t selected a first round offensive lineman since Ifedi, but it is also true that Seattle has only used a first round pick three times since 2016 and only four times since 2012. In that time, the Seahawks also traded for Duane Brown at the cost of two day two picks.
I have written about the LA Rams since the start of 2020 and in that time, Les Snead has selected only one offensive lineman in the draft: seventh rounder Tremayne Anchrum in 2020. Despite Snead’s reputation for trading picks, the Rams have selected 18 players in the last two years and Anchrum was the 250th overall selection in 2020.
I’ve also written about the LA Chargers, the Raiders, and generally covered the the NFL as a freelancer with Rolling Stone, the defunct “Sports on Earth”, and SB Nation, and I can tell you just from my point of view, Pete and John focus more on offensive linemen in the draft than the majority of teams and regimes: 16 offensive lineman since 2013, at least one every year in the last nine draft classes.
If you want to hate on Tom Cable and Mike Solari (the guy who fans BEGGED FOR not long ago), then you do what you gotta do. If you think Seattle has done a poor job of scouting and developing offensive linemen, there’s barely any counter-evidence I can provide as compared to some other teams around the league in a similar position like the Saints, Packers, and Rams. Most of the names listed above are not starting quality NFL players and we all know that.
It’s not for a lack of trying.
We know that in 2022, the Seahawks could lose Brown and even if they don’t, they will soon enough. Right tackle Brandon Shell is also a free agent and not one who everyone agrees should be retained. Jones, Pocic, and Kyle Fuller, also free agents. Thus far, we know that the Seahawks have at least met with a couple of draft prospects at the position, including Lucas.
Is he someone that the Seattle Seahawks should draft with pick 41?
It’s interesting to think about how college programs recruit and manage to land so many prospects at key positions that look identical to one another. Dillard and Lucas could hardly be more alike.
As per Kent Lee Platte on Twitter, Lucas is one of the top-100 tackle prospects since 1987 in terms of his “Relative Athletic Score” at the combine:
Survey those numbers, now compare to Andre Dillard, whose measurements I’ll put first, and Lucas will be second:
6’5 vs 6’6
315 vs 315
24 reps on bench vs 24 reps on bench
29” vertical vs 27” vertical
118” broad vs 107” broad
4.96 40-yard dash vs 4.92 40-yard dash
7.44 3-cone vs 7.25 3-cone
4.4 short shuttle vs 4.4 short shuttle
Same school, same position, same size, same speed, same “strength”, same “quickness”… with some notable differences here and there, these are essentially the same bodies. Now, where so many draft fans can get confused by these numbers is that while prospects look nice as names, numbers, and :15 second video clips, the reality is that they are human beings.
Beyond these numbers and beyond stats, there is a man. This isn’t to say that Andre Dillard is a bad man, a poor teammate, or that he failed in Philadelphia because he doesn’t give effort. I have no idea why Dillard has struggled so badly in the NFL. Maybe at his next stop, he won’t. Maybe the problem lies somewhere with the Eagles, despite them being so good at developing others.
All I know is that he has failed as a first round pick—and that has NOTHING to do with Abraham Lucas. He’s his own man. He will succeed or struggle on his own.
The Seahawks pick 41st but if history is any indication—coupled with some belief that players in the 20-40 range aren’t much, if any better, than prospects in the 60-80 range—then Pete and John will trade down again. Would that move cost them a chance at Lucas, and would that matter? There’s still quite a few people who project him for the third round.
Lucas, a three-star prospect out of Archbishop Murphy in 2017, same high school as potential 2022 first round cornerback Kyler Gordon, has done everything he can at this point to make his case as WSU’s first second round pick since linebacker Raonall Smith and safety Lamont Thompson in 2002. Perhaps if that happens and he reaches his ceiling, Lucas could even be the first Coug to be picked in the second round and make a Pro Bowl since kicker Jason Hanson in 1992!
I don’t know if the Seahawks will be willing to pull the trigger on Abe Lucas next month. It seems that Pete and John never do what is expected of them in the draft and that is partly by design. I do however know, without much question at this point, that the fans would support it.
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