The Seahawks are approaching the draft with a few needs. But the Seahawks may have a chance at drafting something of a luxury, a prime run defender.
In 2016 the team made a rare move up the draft early and selected Jarran Reed. The Alabama alum was seen as a top-tier run defender in the draft class. The team following that path again in 2017 is likely and has a value on it for a later-round than Reed did.
Another Alabama defensive prospect, Dalvin Tomlinson, fits that bill in 2017.
Tomlinson at 6’3 and 310lbs is, clearly, a big man. He was a huge presence in the middle of a generationally elite defense for the Crimson Tide in 2016. Alongside top prospect Jon Allen and others, Tomlinson was not found wanting though. In 2016, per Pro Football Focus, had 23 run stops. Watching him that shows up with Tomlinson’s ability to overpower lineman and run players back into ball carriers and the QB.
He had a lot of hurries and despite having a limited ‘move set’ his pure strength helped him win often. He has that immovable aspect to his game that the Seahawks loved with Reed a year ago. Adding him in alongside Reed would be a huge presence added to the Seahawks defensive line.
It would also help the unit get younger. Athyba Rubin is a free agent soon and the team aim to contain from the interior would be met with Reed/Tomlinson duo.
Along with Michael Bennett being spotted all over the line, the unit would bring a lot of versatility for opposing offenses to deal with.
The path from Tuscaloosa to Seattle is a path tread a few times in recent years. The relationship between Pete Carroll and Nick Saban is highlighted often and is a long-standing one through their careers. That will be called upon to gauge Tomlinson off-the field. His academics shining through and his ‘chip’ coming from his tough childhood (lost both Parents at a young age) would suggest that ‘grit’ would fit for Tomlinson.
Another strong crop of Alabama prospects in 2017 aids the chances, if it is Tomlinson to follow on from Reed and Kevin Norwood then the Seahawks line has a couple young monsters in the interior of their defense for many years.