Seattle Seahawks 2011 Draft Review

I have a lot of problems with these so-called “experts”, as you well know.  They may be knowledgable about the game of football, but they really don’t know much about the individual teams.  It’s easy to see what a team’s needs are; for instance, the Seahawks going into the draft were in need of QB, OL, DL, and CB help.  But, what do they know about how we’re constructing our team?  What do they know about our offensive and defensive schemes?  And why wouldn’t you take into account the TYPES of players an organization likes to go after?

Draft grades and opinions are crafted on how the “experts” would build a team, but they never take into account whether we succeeded in getting the types of players who will come in and fit our scheme.

As I predicted here, we did indeed get a D+ grade out of Mel Kiper.  In fact, we got the lowest grade of any team, in spite of the fact that we succeeded in drafting 3 of our 4 primary needs.

Offensive Line?  That’s a BIG check.  We locked up two guys in our first two picks.  These are guys who will fill two holes on the right side of our line right away.  With Okung coming back – and if Unger can successfully make the transition to center, a position he was originally drafted to play – we possibly have 4/5ths of our O-Line cemented for the next decade.  I’d say that’s a pretty impressive feat.

Defensive Line?  That’s a moderate check.  We drafted two outside linebackers – 4th rounder K.J. Wright and 7th rounder Malcolm Smith out of USC – who can potentially be that Leo pass rusher for us when Chris Clemons needs a spell.  The way Carroll is praising the pick of Smith – a guy he should know QUITE well, since he recruited and coached him in college – makes me think we got quite a steal.  The money quote:

Whereas we have to develop him as a first- and second-down player,” Carroll said, “we know he can be a third-down player right now. We know that, so that makes him unique to us. We don’t have another guy just like that.

To add to that, we have our other 7th round pick Pep Levingston out of LSU.  He’s more of a wide-body type who can play our other, bigger, run-stuffing end position (see:  Red Bryant).  I don’t mind getting a guy like that late in the draft because all you really expect out of him is to be big and take up blockers.

Secondary?  Hopefully a check.  In the 5th round, two picks apart, we drafted Richard Sherman – corner out of Stanford – and Mark LeGree – safety out of Appalachian State.  Sherman is a taller guy – maybe our tallest corner on the team – who’s a converted wide receiver.  He’s got plenty of room to grow and improve, and hell, he’s a Stanford guy.  Which means he’s smart and hopefully dedicated to giving himself over 100% to football.  LeGree looks to be a VERY talented all-around football player at the safety position.  The main reason why he fell to the 5th round is because he played for a D-II school, but you know what?  A good football player is a good football player; plenty of guys have come in here from D-II schools and have gone on to have monumental careers.  This is definitely a guy to root for, as I’m sure he’ll be one of the try-hardest guys on the team.

Then, in the sixth round, we picked up Byron Maxwell out of Clemson.  He’s only 6-foot, but his specialty is press-corner.  What does Carroll like to play on defense?  Press.  Again, another perfect fit for our scheme.  Was he the best overall corner on the board at that point?  Maybe, maybe not, but he fits OUR scheme.  He doesn’t fit some fantasy scheme as devised by Mel Kiper and jackasses of his ilk.

So, right there, that’s three positions of need.  2 offensive linemen, 3 defensive ends/outside linebackers, 2 cornerbacks and a safety.  MULTIPLE guys for each position of need, because you know not everyone is going to pan out.

Add to that 4th rounder Kris Durham, wide receiver out of Georgia.  This one broke the camel’s back for most of the draftniks out there.  They already were lukewarm-at-best over our first three picks, then we went and picked up Durham (a guy many had projected at least two rounds later in the draft).

Oh REALLY?  Is that why Kansas City called to congratulate us on drafting a guy they wanted?  I mean, Christ, the guy is 6’5!  How many receivers left in the 4th round were that tall?  Hell, how many receivers PERIOD are that tall?

Oh, well, the Seahawks didn’t get a speed burner-type.  Bollocks to that!  Anyone who’s fallen to the third day of the draft is either a slow white guy or a fast guy with limitations on his catching ability.  If you’re super fast AND have good hands, guess what?  You’re going to be taken in the first three rounds (probably in the first two).

Maybe Todd McShay and Mel Kiper don’t like 6’5 wide receivers, but the last time I checked, they weren’t head coach or general manager of a fucking FOOTBALL TEAM!  They’re two guys who watch a lot of film, wearing sweat pants and T-shirts, and base opinions solely on what a cameraman is able to capture from a few hundred feet away.

Pete Carroll, who’s been coaching football for DECADES, likes tall receivers.  And, I’d say he’s a LITTLE more successful than the likes of Todd McShay and Mel Kiper.

For that matter, he’s WAY more successful than Trent Dilfer.  Oh, Mr. Dilfer.  You are SERIOUSLY bouncing up and down on my last nerve.  So, you’re absolutely certain that Matt Hasselbeck is going to play for another team next year?  Is that what you’re saying?

THAT MAKES NO SENSE!

Unless he told you in some secret phone call that he’s finished as a Seahawk, I don’t fucking believe you!

Let’s break it down.  What did we do in the draft?  We bolstered our offensive line for the first time since he came here.  Wouldn’t a starting quarterback WANT his team to bolster their offensive line?  Wouldn’t Right Tackle and Right Guard be the EXACT positions he’d prefer his team to draft?

And make no mistake, if Hasselbeck signs, he WILL be the starting quarterback.  Charlie or no Charlie.  Re-signing Hasselbeck would be a clear indication that he’s going to continue to be the leader of this team.

Now, who else did we draft?  Oh, that’s right, NOT a quarterback!  A free-agent veteran quarterback who’s been the face of the franchise CERTAINLY would be pleased with his team not drafting a QB.  That means, in all likelihood, his team is putting all their eggs in the Hasselbeck basket.  How much more wanted could a guy feel than watching his team not only strengthen his offensive line, but also neglect a supposed need position that is his own?

Now, is that a sure thing that Hasselbeck is coming back?  Of course not.  It’s a gamble on our part.  We passed up on Andy Dalton, for crying out loud!  Trent Dilfer’s draft man-crush!  You kill us for not drafting your boy, and then you tell us there’s no way Hasselbeck’s coming back … I don’t get it!

Trent Dilfer, you are an ass-clown.  You’ve always been an ass-clown, you were a terrible quarterback who won the lottery by being on the same team as one of the greatest defenses of all time, and then you were summarily released by your team for your efforts.  I hated it when the Seahawks signed you, I hated it when Holmgren continued to play you, I hated it when the fans chanted your name when Hasselbeck struggled.  Guys who can’t do:  teach.  You’re not even THAT good; that’s why you’re an analyst on ESPN.  Then, you take these Limbaugh-esque stances on what you think is good and bad, never taking into account you have your bald head up your own ass!  Which has to be painful, because you have a big-ass head.

Quarterback?  No check.  I know Pete Carroll is trying to play the PR game by saying that Charlie Whitehurst is our 3rd round pick, but let’s be serious here.  At the very least, it would’ve been nice to grab somebody else to be a third string.  It’s certainly not too late; I guarantee when this Lockout thing ends, we sign a guy or two as an undrafted free agent, but still.

Our D+ grade is exclusively based on the fact that we didn’t draft a QB.  I know they’ll tell you that the other guys we picked were reaches – to which I’ve already responded to; but that’s all bullshit.  Everyone expected the Seahawks to draft a quarterback in the first round and when they didn’t do it, they looked like fucking morons and took out their ire on their websites.  Well, this is my response to your ire:  fuck you!  If our coach and GM didn’t see the value of picking a QB when they were making their picks, I’m going to defer to them.

To be honest with you, this draft as a whole didn’t look like it had anybody who’s going to be a future All Pro at the position.  Everyone has flaws!  BIG flaws!  Cam Newton’s a joke, Jake Locker – God bless him – is still a project, Blaine Gabbert is underwhelming, Christian Ponder is a joke, and Andy Dalton will not be the next Aaron Rodgers, I’m sorry.  The day I start listening to Trent Dilfer’s opinion on quarterbacking is the day scientists start rooting around in my frontal lobe with scalpels.

I trust Pete Carroll.  I trust John Schneider.  These are the same guys who got A-marks in last year’s draft.  They didn’t, all of a sudden, lose their skill at evaluating talent!

The Seattle Seahawks were not a very good football team last year.  We had a lot of flaws that were patched over by free agents and guys playing in contract years.  Flaws that were masked a little bit by the fact that we played in the worst division in football.  Flaws that were minimalized by the fact that we beat the Saints in the first round of the playoffs.  But, those flaws were still there!  And with this draft, we made EXCELLENT strides in fixing those flaws.

We’re going to be a team that runs the ball.  We’re going to be a team that relies on its defense to keep the score down and get the other team off the field.  We’re going to be a Time of Possession team.  Yes, there will be plenty of growing pains, especially if we don’t re-sign Hasselbeck and instantly become one of the youngest teams in football.  But, in the long run, we will be better for it.

For the 2011 NFL Draft.  We’ll look back and say to ourselves, “This is where it all started getting better.”  It’s a marathon, and in 2011 we’re taking our first steps.

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