Check out Round One Speculation
Draft Day ’08 was a very disappointing day for Seahawks fans.
I personally felt that the only player with good value where they were drafted was Red Bryant, and was extremely disappointed that the team didn’t address the wide receiver position, going in with an aging Bobby Engram, an injured Deion Branch, an inconsistent Nate Burleson, and a slew of untested, former practice squad players.
I also thought that Bryant was the only player who had potential to be a very good NFL player, as it turned out, I was wrong. John Carlson had an excellent rookie season, and appears to be the most complete tight end the Seahawks have had in a long time, perhaps ever.
I heard a caller on 950 KJR attempt to shed a positive light on the Seahawks' draft. He claimed that it was possible that the Seahawks had taken the best players at four different positions. Those being Carlson, Owen Schmitt, Tyler Schmitt, and Brandon Coutu.
I have a hard time getting excited about a fullback, long-snapper, and a kicker...my apologies.
However, with Tim Ruskell’s back against the wall, after lack-luster first-round picks, he’ll have to regain the drafting magic he had in his first year as GM.
Last season, I’d argue the Kansas City Chiefs drafted five players with first round talent, and the Seahawks have the opportunity to do something similar this season, here’s what they could do in the second round.
I don’t think there’s a quarterback with good value here who fits a WCO. Wait until Round Three, Timmy!
Defensive Back: William Moore, Patrick Chung, Louis Delmas, Victor “Macho” Harris
I personally feel that the Seahawks' woes last season had a lot to do with poor safety play. While Kelly Jennings and Josh Wilson may be marginal corners, I don’t feel they should shoulder the load for the team’s defensive problems.
Moore has a good frame, and is big enough to square up many running backs in the NFL. He’s considered a first-rounder by many, including myself, but in some circles his stock is slipping.
If he falls to the Seahawks in the second and the Seahawks don’t take him, I’ll be as upset as I was when the team skipped on Trent Edwards, Carl Nicks and Justin Blalock in recent years. Those guys I personally regarded as future starters on draft day.
Chung played on one of the best secondaries in the country at Oregon. He’s big enough to play the run, and could replace Deon Grant.
Louis Delmas is a name shooting up draft boards. Many feel he’s first round caliber, but I tend to temper my opinions and avoid hyperbole. Delmas is the smallest of the three safeties mentioned, but had 100 tackles his senior season.
Harris is a corner who could shoot up draft boards if he runs a respectable 40-yard-dash. He’s billed as a “playmaker,” which is a scary term for me personally, as I feel that playmakers, especially DB’s, are also risk-takers, and prone to giving up big plays.
Wide Receiver: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Kenny Britt, Hakeem Nicks, Juaquin Iglesias
Since drafting Koren Robinson, the Seahawks haven’t drafted a receiver in the first four rounds. That’s spanned six drafts, and two general managers. That must change in 2009.
Last season, 10 receivers were drafted in the second round, and this year’s class could be similar, as there are a slew of second-tier receivers after Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin.
Heyward-Bey is a polarizing prospect for many. He’s got all the athletic ability in the world, but his lack of production, and his inexperience playing with an elite quarterback has a lot of draftniks worried.
I look to his size, at 6'2", 207lbs, as an indication of his potential. He’s got about ideal height and weight for a WCO receiver, and has the potential to balance the risk in taking him.
I don’t think he’ll be available in the second-round, but if he is, he’s an ideal candidate to be drafted here.
Britt is really the only big receiver, apart from Crabtree, with the potential to be drafted in the first round. In other offenses Britt may be a possession receiver, but in a WCO he could benefit from getting the ball on the run, in the open field. At 6'4", 215lbs, he’d probably step in and immediately be the team’s best red-zone threat.
While I don’t think Nicks can raise his stock this much, I feel that he’s the type of receiver the Philadelphia Eagles would draft. From Freddie Mitchell to Reggie Brown to DeSean Jackson, the Eagles have made a habit of making uninspiring draft picks early at the receiver position.
Nicks is a safe pick, a player who has a peak, in my opinion, similar to Bobby Engram early in his career.
Iglesias is a receiver who I feel will go under the radar for many draftniks going into the draft. He probably won’t take first in any drill at the combine, but will probably rank highly in most of them.
He’s got some size, but he’s not huge. However, when Malcolm Kelly was at Oklahoma, Iglesias produced, when Jermaine Gresham stepped up after Kelly’s departure, Iglesias produced. Iglesias is on of my “dark horse Pro-Bowlers,” which I can hopefully make a list of later in the offseason.
D-Line/Linebackers: Peria Jerry, Sen’Derrick Marks, Brian Cushing, Clint Sintim
One thing that is very clear is that Tim Ruskell is intent on the Seahawks having a deep defensive line. In the past three years the team has drafted five D-linemen in the first four rounds, done with Rocky Bernard, Marcus Tubbs, Craig Terrill, Patrick Kerney, Bryce Fisher and Grant Wistrom on the roster at various times.
In Ruskell’s defense, most of the players he acquired have proven to be worth what was given up to get them, whether draft picks or money, perhaps apart from Lawrence Jackson to this point.
If Jerry fell to the Seahawks, that would be perhaps Ruskell’s dream scenario. He may be the best pass-rushing DT in the draft, and would add a unique aspect to the Seahawks D-Line rotation.
Marks is similar to Jerry, in that he’d probably play a role in the pass rush, but unlike Jerry, he’d probably come off the field for run downs. Jerry’s a first round talent, while Marks has more holes in his game.
Cushing and Sintim will probably both be gone at this pick, but both would be more than adequate replacements for LeRoy Hill, were the Seahawks to let him go. Both linebackers are versatile and would add to the depth on the inside and outside, and both could become part of the D-line rotation.
Running Back: LeSean McCoy, Shonn Greene, Donald Brown
The NFL has turned into a “running-back-by-committee” league. Most teams, especially successful teams, have at least two backs that can make an impact on a game.
The truly successful running teams have two backs who offer a very different style of running. From “Flash and Dash,” to “Earth, Wind, and Fire,” to “Thunder and Lightning,” or whatever nicknames are en vogue this hour, having a physical back paired with a finesse back has proven to be a formula for success.
LeSean McCoy is probably the most complete back of the bunch, and has begun to garner first round buzz. He’s probably better than Julius Jones, but not all together different.
Shonn Greene is an interesting back. He reminds me a little of Shaun Alexander early in his career. He runs hard, and always fall forward, he doesn’t have elite speed, but is shifty enough to squirt through a crease. He also weighs over 230lbs, and probably would allow the Seahawks to move on from the T.J. Duckett era.
Brown was very productive at Connecticut in 2008. There has to be some question about his level of competition, playing in a Big East that had a down year, but he had some of his best games against better competition. Like McCoy, he may not offer another dimension.