7 Players the Seattle Seahawks Will Regret Passing on in the 2012 NFL Draft
When it comes to the NFL Draft, it's a matter of trust and perhaps a little bit of luck.
Over the course of this draft, Schneider and Carroll set about this mission once again by taking an unconventional approach. To this point only Duff McKagan in his column for ESPN has managed to appropriately explain the situation:
Ah, Seattle is a funny little town. Our football team will draft players with no real eye toward what other teams are doing or how their competition is maneuvering. No. We will pick a clear second-rounder in the first round just to show everyone else that we do what we want up here. Sniffing glue may very well be one of those things.
I love my Seahawks, and will for life, but Bruce Irvin? Sure, sure, we are often proved wrong with many of these college studs that we all deem as surefire NFL bets—but give me a chance to at least get excited first. Bruce Irvin? Really? Well, OK, Pete. I got faith in you, dude. Remember, Carroll, our coffee IS really strong up here. Drink a little less before next year’s draft, maybe?
Essentially the draft is a crap-shoot and will take years to sort through. Based on their past body of work, 'Hawks fans need to trust these selections as the braintrust assures us they will some day lead to a championship. Whether you agree or disagree with the 'Hawks choices this year, I believe there are going to be players the team passed up that could come back to haunt them.
Here are seven individuals which we could all some day be furious with Pete and John for passing up...
Round 1: David DeCastro, Offensive Guard, Pittsburgh Steelers
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Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I suggest reading the following story on Bruce Irvin from Yahoo! Sports Les Carpenter.
OK, so Irvin is not squeaky clean like Luke Kuechly, but is that a bad thing given how far he's come?
The hiccup a few weeks ago doesn't help his cause for any doubters, yet for now I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.
With that out of the way, I'm still not sure what to make of this pick?
Irvin is certainly a talented pass-rusher, but he's a reach and a gamble on several fronts.
While the additional draft picks secured in the deal with the Eagles may help later on, the 'Hawks could have had their pick of several players who may provide greater value.
At the top of the list is offensive guard David DeCastro.
So instead of coming home to Seattle where he grew up in Bellevue idolizing Steve Hutchinson, he's going to Pittsburgh. One can only wonder how many Pro Bowl nods DeCastro will pick up while he's there...
Round 1: Dont'a Hightower, Linebacker, New England Patriots
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Following the Steelers selection of David DeCastro, the Patriots took my final mock draft's first-round selection Dont'a Hightower of Alabama.
Similar to Pittsburgh, New England seems have a knack for developing players to fit within their system.
In the hands of Bill Belichick and his staff, Hightower should enjoy success at the pro level following a solid career playing for Nick Saban in college.
Not convinced that Hightower is all that great a player? Consider the fact that the Patriots traded up to select him. The 'Hawks may have missed out on Luke Kuechly at inside linebacker with his selection by Carolina at No. 9, but could very well regret not getting the guy that many considered the next best player for that position on the board.
Instead, we will need to see if Bobby Wagner is for real.
Round 1: Michael Floyd, Wide Reciever, Arizona Cardinals
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This pick the Seahawks could have made if they stayed at the No. 12 spot instead of trading with Philadelphia. While I'm not entirely sold on Floyd, I have a feeling he might do quite well for himself being paired opposite Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona.
The 'Hawks may have many options at wide receiver, but nothing is certain with the current roster. Adding a target like Floyd would have given either Matt Flynn or Tarvaris Jackson a young up-and-coming player to work this upcoming season.
If either Sidney Rice or Mike Williams is unable to stay healthy, Doug Baldwin and by extension the 'Hawks offense is going to be in a lot of trouble. It may not make much sense today, but come mid-season if Floyd is one of the league's top rookie pass catchers, it could be another pick the 'Hawks regret passing up.
Similar to Hightower, the second best player at his position following Justin Blackmon could have been a Seahawk.
Round 2: Vinny Curry, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles
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Pete Carroll and John Schneider believe Bruce Irvin is the best pass-rusher in the draft. I believe Curry who happened to slip down towards the bottom of round two could however have a better year in 2012.
Paired with first-round pick Fletcher Cox, Curry could help support the Eagles pass rush that gets them back to the playoffs.
Tony Pauline at Sports Illustrated seems to think the Curry pick by Philadelphia is a steal...
"Curry was one of the best pass-rushers in this year's draft. A poor combine performance pushed him out of the draft's top 45 choices, yet he's a perfect fit for the Eagles, who prefer their defensive ends small, yet quick and relentless."
Maybe time will tell?
Round 3: Lamar Miller, Running Back, Miami Dolphins
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How things turn out with quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Robert Turbin will determine whether the Seahawks chose wisely in the middle of the draft.
I'm not sold on either, but could see Turbin contributing this season for Marshawn Lynch.
Still I think Miller will have a better year than both players in 2012. Selected early in fourth round by the Miami Dolphins, Miller was B/R Draft Guru Matt Miller's first pick for the Seahawks not too long ago.
I didn't agree with the 'Hawks selecting Miller in round one at the time, but would have been quite happy seeing the team take him in round three.
Round 4: Alameda Ta'amu, Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh Steelers
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Once again the 'Hawks punted on someone familiar to Seattle who the Steelers grabbed instead. When selecting a defensive tackle in the middle of the draft, Pete Carroll and John Schneider opted for University of Florida's Jaye Howard.
When you read NFL.com's Bucky Brooks take on both players, it leaves to wonder how soon and for how long the 'Hawks may regret passing up on Ta'amu?
Bucky Brooks review of Ta'amu is as follows:
Ta'amu was a big-boned, powerful inside force for Washington who projects to play the nose tackle position in a 3-4 defense at the next level. He has the ability to hold up linemen and clog lanes to keep linebackers clean, which boosts his value. He has been so effective with the Huskies that there have been some arguably 'less-talented' players at Washington who have been extremely productive because of his presence inside on the line.
Howard is a thick interior lineman who has great size and can make impact plays working from his defensive tackle position. He can disappear for stretches, as he did in games for the Gators, and this will be the major concern surrounding his transition to the next level.
As Casey Hampton's possible replacement, Ta'amu could make a lot of teams regret passing him up regardless of whether he fits a team's particular scheme at the present.
Howard one can only hope will be motivated to play at the pro level.
Round 4: Nick Toon, Wide Receiver, New Orleans Saints
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For sentimental reasons, I think the New York Jets should have taken Toon, but that's another story...
For the Seahawks, Toon could have spelled Mike Williams if for whatever reason he doesn't return to 2010 form for this season.
Instead Toon will be headed to New Orleans to play with Drew Brees. While the Saints certainly have their issues this season, I truly believe Brees is going to play like a man on fire with Toon helping spell Robert Meachem.
Time will tell whether Toon or any of these other players become stars, but the organizations many of them are headed to have proven track records or some degree of recent success.
One can only hope the Seahawks over time develop players with similar success and become one of the league's elite franchises. Until then, fans and pundits outside of the Pacific Northwest are probably going to laugh and snicker at the 'Hawks unconventional selections under Pete Carroll and John Schneider. Let's hope, however, they are the ones who have the last laugh.