2021 NFL Draft preview: Assessing the Seahawks Big Board needs


In just over a week, the Seattle Seahawks will be on the clock for the first time in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

32 NFL teams will soon have the opportunity to change the future of their franchise by adding to their team through a rising crop of prospects. There's no denying talent runs deep in this year's draft, from phenomenal arm talent in QB prospects to a deep group of pass catchers. Will the next DK Metcalf please stand up? 

The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock first and expected to draft Clemson's Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall, while the Seattle Seahawks don't pick until No. 56 in the second round. Here is everything else you need to know ahead of the draft:

When is the 2021 NFL Draft?

The 2021 NFL Draft kicks off at 5:00 p.m. PT on Thursday, April 29, when all 32 selections in Round 1 will be made. Rounds 2 and 3 take place on Friday, April 30, beginning at 4:00 p.m. PT, and Rounds 4 through 7 will be on Saturday, May 1, beginning at 9:00 a.m. PT. 


What is the 2021 NFL Draft order?

After the 2021 NFL Draft order was finalized in mid-March, the San Francisco 49ers traded up to the No. 3 overall pick. The Miami Dolphins then traded the No. 12 pick they got from San Francisco to the Philadelphia Eagles for the sixth-overall pick. More trades could shake up the order before the draft begins, but here’s how it stands as of now:

Will this year’s draft be in person or virtual?

After the NFL held a virtual draft in 2020 due to COVID-19, this year’s draft will be held in person in Cleveland. Some of the top prospects will be there to take the stage when they’re selected, while others will appear from their homes. 

Can fans attend the 2021 NFL draft?

Yes, fans are allowed to attend this year. A select group of fans who are vaccinated will be chosen by each of the 32 NFL teams and will be seated in the "inner circle" near the main stage. The league’s main website has more information on NFL Draft tickets and events.

How can I watch the 2021 NFL Draft?

The draft will be broadcast live on the NFL Network, ESPN and ABC on all three days.


How many draft picks do the Seahawks have in 2021?

Unlike year's past, the Seattle Seahawks hold just three picks in this year's draft, the fewest of any NFL team. Their first selection is late in the second round, followed by a fourth-rounder and seventh-rounder. 

Why? Seattle packaged first and third-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft in exchange for Jamal Adams as part of a blockbuster trade with the Jets leading into the 2020 NFL Season. They also shipped off a fifth-rounder to the Raiders to acquire offensive lineman Gabe Jackson from the Raiders in March. During the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seahawks dealt their 2021 sixth-round pick to the Dolphins. 

Of course it's worth noting that John Schneider is all about wheeling-and-dealing when it comes to draft day. Seattle's GM is notorious for trading down to rack up more picks and it wouldn't be a surprise if he does so when his team is on the Big Board next Thursday.  

[RELATED: Fann Mail: Predicting how many draft picks the Seahawks will end up with in 2021]

Here's where the Seahawks currently stand: 

  • Second round: No. 56 (own pick)
  • Fourth round: No. 129 (own pick)
  • Seventh round: No. 250 (own pick)

What are the Seahawks' biggest needs?

Seattle's offseason was filled with offseason storylines about Russell Wilson needing more protection from his offensive line after he was sacked 47 times in 2020 and 394 times total in nine seasons. The Seahawks have already made several moves to address Wilson's concerns by trading for guard Gabe Jackson and re-signing Ethan Pocic. 

But has Seattle done enough to appease its star QB? 

As Seahawks Insider Joe Fann mentioned, the team could still afford to add an interior offensive lineman such as a guard or center, as well as a left guard to fill the eventual starting role for an aging Duane Brown. 

"One name that would stick out is Notre Dame's Liam Eichenberg," Fann said. "The Seahawks could go guard and move Damien Lewis to center or take a center to compete with Ethan Pocic immediately. Quinn Meinerz or Oklahoma's Creed Humphrey would be candidates there." 

The Seahawks have done a good job assessing the team's other skill positions on offense. They brought back Chris Carson on a two-year deal, signed Tyler Lockett to a monster four-year extension and added tight end Gerald Everett following Greg Olsen's retirement. However, the Seahawks could still be on the hunt for more offensive weapons for Wilson consider David Moore departed in free agency to sign with the Carolina Panthers. 


"They got lucky two years ago with an immense talent falling to the end of the second round. DK Metcalf of course," Fann said. "And why can't it happen again? A player I'm talking about is Purdue's Rondale Moore. This dude is an absolute lightning rod of an athlete. ... He's an absolute first-round athlete who could pair perfectly with Metcalf and Tyler Lockett should he fall to pick 56." 

On the defensive side of the ball, Seattle returns cornerstones like Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs at safety and Bobby Wagner at linebacker. Seattle lost Shaquill Griffin in free agency to a three-year contract with Jacksonville, but has since re-signed Damarious Randall and added Ahkello Witherspoon and Pierre Desir

Seahawks’ draft needs: OL, CB, WR, LT