The 2018 NFL Combine is now in the rear view mirror, with free agency right around the corner and the draft following soon after. The Seattle Seahawks currently hold the eighteenth pick in the draft, and many fans have once again been clamoring for the team to use that number eighteen selection to shore up the offensive line.
In his first post-combine mock draft, NFL Media Analyst Daniel Jeremiah has the Seahawks taking G Will Hernandez of UTEP with the pick.
However, it may be a longshot for Hernandez to be chosen to replace left guard Luke Joeckel, who is likely to leave via free agency. While many fans and scouts have been drooling over Hernandez’s tape, and his performance at the combine only likely improved his standing leading up to the draft, quite simply he may not meet John Schneider’s criteria for being a first round pick.
As I looked at back in January in analyzing why the Seahawks may have passed on Ryan Ramczyk, Schneider certainly has a preference for drafting players who have multiple seasons of starting experience. Digging further, since arriving in Seattle Schneider has used only one pick in the first two rounds on a player who did not play at a Power 5 conference, and that pick was in the middle of the second round. In looking at the players Schneider has selected in the first round, they have only come from either the Big 12 or the SEC.
That’s not to say that Schneider cannot deviate from his past tendencies or create new tendencies for himself, but the past evidence would indicate that Hernandez may not be in consideration for the Hawks at the current spot.
Of course, we all know the Seahawks aren’t going to be picking at 1.18 in any case. The only first round selection the team has made in the last five years is Germain Ifedi, and there is no reason to believe that the team will adjust its draft strategy for 2018 with the same individuals in charge of setting the team’s draft strategy.