The Seattle Seahawks have some top-notch free agents set to hit the open market, and they have three key FAs on the defensive line with expiring contracts in star defensive end Michael Bennett and DTs Tony McDaniel and Clinton McDonald. Bennett will look to chase the paper and is thus as good as gone, while McDaniel and McDonald could be re-signed and resume key roles at DT. In all likelihood, the Seahawks won’t be able to sign both DTs, so getting an interior pass rusher could be a need for the ‘Hawks this offseason. They have such a deep and talented roster that there is no such thing as a true need either, so they could just go best available with the 32nd overall pick. Most mocks, such as mine, have the Seahawks taking “local” product Austin Seferian-Jenkins, because he’s a solid all-around tight end and would replace Zach Miller, who is simply too expensive to keep around.
Draft insider Tony Pauline was told by a source that the Seahawks “brass love” Pittsburgh Panthers defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who might be the best DT in the draft class. His lack of size hurts him in run defense, but his motor and awareness help make up for his lack of size against the run. But where Donald really cuts his teeth is as a pass rusher, and there isn’t a DT who is nearly as disruptive as Donald is. Taking off of elite NFL DT Geno Atkins as a pass rusher, Donald has all the tools to be an excellent interior pass rusher.
The Seahawks most likely won’t be able to take him in this year’s draft with the 32nd pick, and it wouldn’t make much sense for them to trade up for anyone. I mean, this is a team that is so good at drafting later on that dealing draft picks to trade up would be counter-intuitive, especially since they already have a deep and talented roster. But if Donald is somehow available at 32 despite his gaudy stats in college and big Senior Bowl performance, then the Seahawks are pretty much a lock to take him.