Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State
It's clear to anyone who watched the Seattle Seahawks last season that the one area of the team where talent is majorly lacking is along the offensive line.
Even before they lost LT Russell Okung and guard J.R.Sweezy in free agency this off-season they were pretty terrible as a unit. Now they are even worse, with no real proven names at any position.
What they do have going for them is one of the better offensive line coaches in the league, in Tom Cable, and the unit as a whole did reportedly play a little better toward the end of last season under his tutelage.
After looking at who was left on the CSC mock draft board I broke down Seattle's needs into four groups: offensive line (tackle, guard and center could all use an upgrade), defensive line, linebacker and defensive back.
After losing DT/NT Brandon Mebane to free agency and with D-linemen like DT's A'Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed, Andrew Billings, Robert Nkemdiche and DE/DT Jonathan Bullard still on the board, picking one of those guys was very tempting here, and I almost did go for Robinson. But Seattle do have Ahtyba Rubin and Jordan Hill at DT already and also brought in Sealva Siliga from New England, so I think they can address the position later if they need to.
All the best linebackers are already off the board and even after the loss of OLB Bruce Irvin in free agency, with the talk of 2015 second round DE pick Frank Clark trimming down this off season and losing around 20lbs, he could be the guy they use to replace Irvin. They can also address the position later on in this draft.
With highly rated CB Mackensie Alexander still on the board I guess there's a good chance Seattle would take him at this spot, but I just don't see the need as being that great, especially with Pete Carroll stating the other week that no.1 Richard Sherman and a combination of Jeremy Lane and DeShawn Shead as the no.2/slot corner would be his preferred starters for next season. SS Kam Chancellor's long term contract situation is still not sorted out but I don't see the value at safety in the first round and think they can look at that position later too.
I am not a believer in best player available at all costs. I would try to balance BPA with need if I were picking here. Offensive line is by far the biggest need, and while there are players ranked slightly higher (I used the CBS rankings), like Robinson (ranked no.17), Reed (19), Billings (20), Nkemdiche (25) and other o-linemen I considered, like center Ryan Kelly (26) and OT Jason Spriggs (34), ultimately I decided to pick Cody Whitehair (ranked 37), as I he think he offers the best need, value and versatility combination.
He played left tackle at Kansas State, is widely expected to move to guard in the NFL, but can likely play anywhere along the line if needed. While he didn't impress greatly at the combine, he is known for having excellent technique and fundamentals and was praised by the Kansas State coaches for his leadership and work ethic qualities. He is the highest rated guard in this class.
Seattle often surprise by picking lesser names but great athletes in the draft. Conversely Whitehair is known more for his skills than his athleticism, and this pick is more about who I think they should pick than who they will. But the need on their offensive line is huge this year. I think they should also go OT in the second round (maybe OT's Shon Coleman or Le'Raven Clark if they are there) and quality D-linemen should still be available in the third round.
Here is what CBS say about Cody Whitehair:
STRENGTHS: Adequate size for the position and uses his wide base to handle speed off the edge, staying balanced and sinking his hips at the point of attack. He squares well and rides defenders away from the ballcarrier, using his punch and hand placement to lock on and engage. Plays with veteran awareness, displaying excellent vision and instincts to recognize pressures pre-snap.
WEAKNESSES: While he does a nice job handling edge speed, Whitehair can get beat when he allows rushers to attack his body, forcing him upright and on his heels. His toughness is off the charts, but he could add a pinch of nastiness to his playing recipe, eliminating catch blocks. Also tends to get grabby at times, which will attract yellow laundry at the next level, appearing much more comfortable inside rather than at tackle.
COMPARES TO: Zack Martin, Cowboys - Although not as physically gifted as Martin, Whitehair is a similar player with his ability to square up to defenders and control the point of attack. And similar to Martin, Whitehair is a college left tackle who will move inside to guard in the NFL.
IN OUR VIEW: A college left tackle, he will move inside to guard for in the NFL, which he considers his best (and favorite) position. Whitehair is an assignment-sound blocker, staying square to his target with anchor strength and aggressive hands.
Thanks to all the CSC members who participated in this year's community mock draft. Without your help, none of this would be possible.
Below are the complete results from our community mock draft.
Catch up with all of the mock draft selections in our 2016 CSC Community Mock Draft Hub.
||Selection||Team Representative||Approval Rating|
|1||Tennessee||Leremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss||Chris Dunnells||74%|
|2||Cleveland||Jared Goff, QB, California||quickdrawdoc||44%|
|3||San Diego||Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
|4||Dallas||DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon||Tee Word||52%|
|5||Jacksonville||Myles Jack, LB, UCLA||SxSnts9||73%|
|6||Baltimore||Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida||Lostastic||64%|
|7||San Francisco||Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.||BlackandGold4ever||58%|
|8||Philadelphia||Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State||ukesilence||64%|
|9||Tampa Bay||Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State||RyanAb9||85%|
|10||New York Giants||Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan St.||Johnny BeGood||38%|
|11||Chicago||Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson||NOLASaintsBeast||63%|
|12||New Orleans||Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville||Dave Cariello||69%|
|13||Miami||Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame||saintmanumit||45%|
|14||Oakland||Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama||Chris Dunnells||60%|
|15||Los Angeles Rams||Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis||quickdrawdoc||32%|
|16||Detroit||Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State||Khannar||67%|
|17||Atlanta||Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State||Dave Choate||66%|
|18||Indianapolis||Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia||NOLASaintsBeast||69%|
|19||Buffalo||Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky||Jaimichaelugp||33%|
|20||New York Jets||Emmanuel Ogbah, DE/OLB, Oklahoma St||RyanAb9||54%|
|21||Washington||Eli Apple, CB, Ohio St.||saintmanumit||69%|
|22||Houston||Will Fuller, WR, NotreDame||Tee Word||35%|
|23||Minnesota||Josh Doctson, WR, TCU||SxSnts9|
|24||Cincinnati||Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor||coldpizza|
|25||Pittsburgh||William Jackson III, CB, Houston||WhoDat365|
|26||Seattle||Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas St.||Matt Mosley|
|27||Green Bay||Johnny BeGood|
|29||New England (Forfeited)||Forfeited pick||---------||--------|