Join Date: Jan 2011
Seattle Seahawks Draft Review
State of the franchise before the draft
After becoming the worst playoff team in NFL history in 2010 (and actually winning a game once they got there) the Seahawks let longtime franchise QB Matt Hasselbeck leave for Tennessee in free agency, missed out on every significant QB on the block and were stuck with the devastating crucible of deciding between Tavares Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst to lead a woefully underwhelming supporting cast.
Yep, the Hawks were squarely in the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes. Much to the chagrin of some of their fans, they were actually decent and their draft position put the top quarterbacks in the 2012 draft out of reach. So they signed free agent Matt Flynn from Green Bay just months after he set the single-game Packers passing record, and are hoping he can be the next Green Bay backup to lead the Seahawks to sustained success.
As for the rest of the roster, there was a good core of the excellent young players like Earl Thomas, Marshawn Lynch, Russell Okung, Sidney Rice, KJ Wright and Brandon Browner, but there were also plenty of areas that could use upgrading. Epic draft bust Aaron Curry and the departure of Lofa Tatupu left a huge hole at linebacker. Outside of Brandon Mebane, there was very little to get excited about what they have going in the defensive front.
Rice remained the only legitimate outside pass-catching threat on the roster, and he has battled serious injuries each of the past two seasons. Outside of Chris Clemons, there was little to no pass rush. Clemons accounted for 11 of the team’s platry 33 sacks, with no other player garnering more than four.
Seattle is also in something of a unique position, as the powerhouse in their division, San Francisco, doesn’t buy into the cliché of the modern NFL game being “passing game.” The construction of this defense has to be somewhat geared to stopping a power running game, whereas the rest of the league is moving towards smaller, quicker defenses.
Round One, Pick 15: Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia
A year after pulling the biggest first round surprise by taking offensive tackle James Carpenter with the 25th pick. That was nothing compared to this pick.
I agree with Mel Kiper when he called this pick “flabbergasting”, but apparently there were other teams waiting to pounce on this undersized, one-trick pony. The Jets, Chargers, Ravens and 49ers, among possibly others were interested in the only high school dropout that I am ever aware of to go in the first round. That still doesn’t mean I have to like the pick.
I think it says an awful lot that Irvin’s production dipped drastically (sack production cut almost in half) his senior year when he was asked to play full-time. The guy is simply no good against the run, and probably can never be asked to do anything but provide a speed rush off the edge.
He is blindingly fast with a great get-off, and could reasonably draw comparisons to Von Miller. The big difference is that Miller is not a liability on any downs and can win with more than just speed.
Irvin has admitted he doesn’t really know what he’s doing yet, and his pure speed will probably be neutralized at first, especially if he is only playing on obvious passing downs. The challenge for Pete Carroll and staff will be finding a way to reach Irvin, who has clearly had issues with authority in the past.
Round Two, Pick 47: Bobby Wagner, ILB, Utah State
This is another pick that seemed about a round too early.
I just about never accuse a team of panicking, thinking they prepare too much to not have a plan when their board falls apart. I just might make an exception for John Schneider, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks. Mychal Kendricks, who went to the Eagles one pick ahead of Wagner, would have been a great addition and a genuine upgrade over the void they have there now.
However, Wagner is just not worth a second rounder IMO. He has marginal instincts and average speed. I like his physicality, and apparently, he is a real hard-working kid. I thought he probably fit better in a 3-4, but now he’ll have to man the middle in a defense where the line will offer him little protection.
Round Three, Pick 75: Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
I just don’t get it.
This is what good teams do, take developmental prospects when they don’t have a glaring need for impact players on the field. That’s not where the Seahawks are at this point.
I have a feeling John Schneider or offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell (a former Wisconsin QB himself) just fell so in love with him at some point in the draft process that they just had to get him, no matter what it cost. Foolishness. You can never allow your judgment to become so clouded by personal preference that it leads you to make luxury picks when you have no luxury.
It’s hard not to really like Russell Wilson, but the fact is he’s a 5’10” QB without a Doug Flutie-type arm, and his only great season came when he was protected by one of the best running games in college football history.
If Wilson is a success in the NFL, it will be in a WCO like the one Seattle runs. He is smart, sincerely humble and gets the most out of his ability. He deserves every bit of success coming his way and he’ll be a delight to every member of the organization not named Matt Flynn or Tavares Jackson. That still doesn’t justify the selection.
Round Four, Pick 106: Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
Finally, a pick that is not a reach.
Turbin is a gifted, physical back whose game mirrors that of incumbent Marshawn Lynch. He averaged six yards a game for a program that has risen over the past couple of years from the dregs of the FBS to a legit mid-major power.
The biggest question with Turbin is his ability in the passing game. And it really is a question. The Aggies rotated three different backs in the game, and Turbin wasn’t in on a lot of passing downs.
Round Four, Pick 114: Jaye Howard, DT, Florida
Back to reaching again.
Howard has early round talent, but the production isn’t great. He is very inconsistent, and has poor strength which demonstrates a lack of work ethic in the offseason.
He is yet another Pete Carroll project. The fact that it took them this long to address the defensive line is mind-boggling.
Round Five, Pick 154: Korey Toomer, OLB, Idaho
Toomer is one of the better, under-the-radar flyer picks in the draft.
He tested off-the-charts in Indy and had a great senior campaign. A juco transfer, Toomer only has one year of starting experience and lacks instincts, but he has size, speed and effort. He should make a big mark in special teams while he develops as a pass-rushing outside linebacker.
Round Six, Pick 172: Jeremy Lane, CB, Northwestern State
I cannot comment. I know nothing about this guy.
Round Six, Pick 181: Winston Guy Jr., S, Kentucky
His clippings and stat line would lead you to believe he should go much higher than this.
Guy is a tough, instinctive football player’s football player who made plenty of tackles in the box. However, his lack size and speed greatly limits his upside.
Round Seven, Pick 225: J.R. Sweezy, DT, N.C. State
I cannot comment. I know nothing about this guy.
Round Seven, Pick 232: Greg Scruggs, DT, Louisville
Scruggs is a versatile, high-effort, high-character lineman who can play either tackle and end. He has battled injuries in the past, but if healthy he can compete for a roster spot.
Well, I just can’t get behind this draft.
As I indicated throughout the draft, I don’t think the Seahawks had a good feeling for the real values of the players they drafted, and furthermore, I don’t think they evaluated these guys properly.
The structure just isn’t there some of their early picks to reach their potential, and they consistently neglected their biggest holes when there were players of value to fill those holes. They are no better equipped to handle the power running games of San Fran and Arizona, and they also didn’t make any efforts to strengthen their big free agent signing of Matt Flynn.
I might be wrong, but if you draft like this, you won’t be drafting long.
Way too early draft grade: D