Whenever discussing the draft, we’ll always start with the caveats that it’s unpredictable, especially when it comes to the Seahawks and this front office.
Keep that in mind when we look at players over the next couple months while we plod toward the draft.
Two offensive linemen who have been linked to the Seahawks are Pac-12 guys David Yankey of Stanford and Xavier Su’a-Filo of UCLA. We’ll look at Su’a-Filo now and Yankey later.
At the combine, they were different in their interviews. The first time I spoke with Su’a-Filo was at Pac-12 football media day last July. He was kind of finding his way on the podium then. At the combine, he looked comfortable and in command when speaking.
Su’a-Filo, 6-foot-4 and 307 pounds at the combine, played guard and tackle at UCLA. He said NFL teams project him at guard.
If there is an offensive lineman he looks at in the NFL, it’s the Patriots’ Logan Mankins.
“I think Logan, he was a high draft pick, but he’s physical,” Su’a-Filoa said. “He’s a bad-ass, he started from Day 1 in New England, and I love how nasty he is, something about his game that I really try to implement. Other guys like Mike Iupati and Trent Williams, are really mean and nasty like that and that’s what I’m trying to be like.”
Su’a-Filo feels he can play both guard and tackle in the NFL. Here’s what he said about his ability to zone block.
“At UCLA with Noel Mazzone’s offense we ran spread zone, but we did have some gap scheme and power in there,” Su’a-Filo said. “When I was at guard, I love pulling, getting out in space. So, either one.”
When Su’a-Filo was at UCLA, he said he tried to lead be example.
“I wasn’t much of a rah-rah guy,” Su’a-Filo said. “But anytime I had to speak, I wasn’t afraid to do it. In the locker room, I tried to be a leader. I was voted team captain the last two years and tried to give an example to my teammates, especially our young offensive line, how our coaches expect things to be done and how we’re going to be successful.
“And I think that, like I said, the culture that coach (Jim) Mora wanted to implement on our team, I really tried to help bring that inside the locker room and I think that a lot of guys on our team started to buy into it.”
Maybe the Seahawks will buy into him.