Discover more from Seaside Joe
Will Bernhard Raimann's medical history cause him to fall to the third round?
Monday night draft notes
Charlie Campbell at WalterFootball reported on Monday that some teams have “medically flunked” offensive tackle prospects Evan Neal and Bernhard Raimann, though there are no details on what could be holding either player back. Campbell also leaves out whether or not he stole the term “medically flunked” from Dr. Nick on The Simpsons.
Raimann has been my number one target for the Seahawks (after trading down) and if it’s true that teams are dropping him off of their boards, then perhaps it would be better to suggest that he’s more of a second or a third round pick than a day one selection. That would be so unfortunate for Raimann, but I also think it is important for fans to remember that as much as we want to be optimistic about a player’s future and as obsessive as we are with “value”, that medical red flags often result in shorter careers and/or sporadic game appearances.
One moment Jaylon Smith is on top of the world for Notre Dame. The next, his knee is seriously injured in a multitude of ways. The next, he’s a bargain second round pick for the Cowboys and a star for three years in Dallas. Now Smith, only 26, is on his third team in the last year and fighting for a roster spot with the Giants.
You could tell a very similar story for Myles Jack, another early second round pick in 2016, except he’s fighting for snaps with the Steelers this year. And on the other side of the coin, Frank Gore is arguably the greatest iron man in the history of the running back position, a title nobody expected when medical concerns dropped him to the 49ers in the third round in 2005.
As for Evan Neal, it’s going to be speculated now that he will fall outside of the top-10. Prior to the ascent of Aidan Hutchinson and Travon Walker, Neal was the consensus number one pick to the Jaguars. Frankly, that could still happen! But we'll have to be more open to the possibility that maybe Seattle could even trade down and land Evan Neal in the middle of the first round.
Whether that’d be a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen. We just know that it wasn’t something anyone could have predicted prior to Monday. A few other players that Campbell noted with medical concerns after being tested by teams: Clemson WR Justyn Ross, Penn State CB Tariq Castro-Fields, and Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III.
As I write this, we’re only 72 hours away from ending all the speculation on the 2022 NFL Draft and beginning our journey to miscalculating the 2023 NFL Draft.
What else is going on right now?
Chris Simms puts money where mouth is
Simms gave top-10 grades to Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt and I wondered if he actually meant that or if he gave “top-10 grades” to two dozen players because nobody was keeping track. He meant it.
In his mock draft on Monday, Simms mocked Davis to the Falcons at eight and Wyatt to the Seahawks at nine. Even more shocking than Wyatt going ninth was the fact that Simms had Seattle passing on Kayvon Thibodeaux and Derek Stingley, Jr. to do it. Agree or not, Simms is going to do it his way and I respect that.
It was also Campbell who said that one AFC team took Wyatt off their board for character “red flags” and noted a 2020 arrest for “family violence” but thus far I’ve seen nothing concrete, no details, and no other person reporting anything about Wyatt falling for these same concerns. Perhaps more will come to light before Thursday, as of now I haven’t seen anything else.
What does “need” even actually mean?
A year ago, Seattle’s biggest “need” was cornerback, according to Bleacher Report and Seahawks.com. An offensive tackle also came up often in mock drafts for Seattle. Though the Seahawks didn’t have many picks, only one second rounder in the first two days, corner, offensive tackle, and potentially a quarterback (like Kyle Trask) were identified as Seattle’s needs.
The Seahawks drafted Tre Brown and Stone Forsythe, but nothing has changed for many projecting Seattle’s needs in 2022; cornerback and offensive tackle may be two of the team’s top three needs, and quarterback is certainly one of the three even if it’s not addressed this year either. So what good did it do for “needs” for Brown and Forsythe to be added to the mix? Or trading for Drew Lock for that matter?
What about a team that did have plenty of needs and draft capital in 2021: The Jets.
New York’s top-five needs at NFL.com were QB, OL, EDGE, CB, and TE. The Jets picked Zach Wilson (check off QB), Alijah Vera-Tucker (check OL), and five—yes FIVE—defensive backs. Two of those five were moved to linebacker, but sixth rounder Brandin Echols had an impressive rookie season.
Now one year later, the Jets are routinely mocked with Sauce Gardner and Derek Stingley; routinely connected to offensive line in the top-10; routinely connected to WR despite picking Elijah Moore with the second pick of the second round; routinely connected to a second round running back after getting Michael Carter as a steal in the fourth round.
Of course, there are reasons for this: Gardner is a different beast than Echols, Vera-Tucker doesn’t solve issues at tackle, and Moore is not the same type of receiver as Drake London or Jameson Williams or Garrett Wilson.
What’s wrong with needs isn’t that they’re often incorrect assumptions. The problem with “needs” is that they lack specificity, clarity, and most often, have no vision that goes beyond “What does the roster say at OurLads.com as of TODAY?”
“Need” is a term that lacks the definition that should be necessary before it winds up in every pre-draft article that we read leading up to the main event. What is the Seahawks biggest need this year? Damn good players.
Damn good players. If they draft eight damn good players, they will have fewer needs for damn good players in 2023.
Jermaine Johnson going in the top-five?
Go for it. Maybe Jermaine Johnson turns into the steal of the draft, but if he goes in the top-five, then at best he’ll become a “fair value”. I don’t find myself worried about Seattle potentially losing out on a prospect whose become the focus of too much Seahawks draft attention.
Dax Hill interviews poorly?
Campbell also noted that Dax Hill has interviewed “so poorly” that some teams have removed him from draft boards. The versatile defensive back out of Michigan is as athletic as they come and could move into the slot for a defense as soon as next season, a role that the Seahawks could be looking for; but as far as picking safeties or nickel corners, Seattle should be waiting until day three.
I won’t criticize the Seahawks for going Defense-Defense-Defense
I could see my skeptical of specific picks, but there might not be anything wrong with Pete Carroll simply picking the best players on the board and if that turns out to be all-defense, so be it. Because I think it will end up being more pivotal to find edge rushers, cornerbacks, and pass disruptors than it is to find offensive linemen and a number one receiver.
More and more it seems that people are obsessing over the quarterback position. Okay, I can see that. As I’ve said, maybe this game really is just QB vs QB; everyone else on the field is more like “the conditions of the game.” I think of it like golfers going head to head, but in this case, messing with your opponent during his backswing is acceptable.
The Seahawks can do little more to improve their play at quarterback next season because first and foremost, they need to find the quarterback. He’s not in this draft.
Better yet, Seattle could do everything in their power to disrupt opposing quarterbacks during their backswing by hoping to land star defensive players throughout the top-80 picks of this draft. Though Bobby Wagner and D.J. Reed are gone, the Seahawks are bringing back the majority of their defense—including Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, Darrell Taylor, Jordyn Brooks, Poona Ford, Sidney Jones, Al Woods, Ugo Amadi, and Ryan Neal—while Carlos Dunlap and Rasheem Green are in consideration to still return.
Seaside Joe is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Alton Robinson, Cody Barton, Marquise Blair, Tre Brown, L.J. Collier remain players who could have the potential to give more to the defense next season than they did last season. Clint Hurtt may also be a coaching giant in waiting.
If Seattle goes edge rusher with their first pick, corner with their second pick, and linebacker or defensive tackle with their third pick, it may not be the worst thing in the world. It may actually help make the Seahawks one of the NFC’s top defenses in either 2022, 2023, or 2024, if not two or all three of those seasons.
Do that now and who knows what options the Seahawks could have (two firsts, two seconds in 2023, immense salary cap space incoming) to add a quarterback, an offensive tackle, a receiver, and a running back next year. Seattle could be a much more attractive destination with an emerging defense… and that’s exactly what they were building in 2010 and 2011 prior to selecting Russell Wilson in 2012.
I also won’t find it curious if two of the top three picks are offensive tackle and receiver. It won’t be shocking if the Seahawks do pick a quarterback. But defense-defense-defense is on the board and it is plenty defensible.
Who would you most want to see if the Seahawks go D-D-D to start the draft?