The Seattle Seahawks have completed another NFL draft. Yet again, they have made a few selections that were not necessarily expected. Needs were addressed, though perhaps not in the order that was predicted.
Of course, John Schneider and Pete Carroll have put together a winner over the last few years. With that success comes a bit more leniency in the grading department. As you watched the draft process on television, you couldn’t help but feel like the commentators were giving Seattle the benefit of the doubt with some of the selections.
Realistically, draft grades should really be given out two to three years after the draft in question. After all, there are so many players that may or may not pan out when they finally hit the field.
There is a reason that people talk about first-round busts and late-round steals. Nevertheless, the grades are out and the speculation has begun.
Here are a few grades from around the Internet on the Seattle Seahawks' 2013 draft.
The grade given by the Sporting News is certainly good, though not necessarily great. A B- is one of those grades that says you are doing well, but that you could have done a bit better.
Seattle was generally regarded as a team that did not have any major needs which needed to be addressed through the draft. The Sporting News continued this theme, but also suggested that the Seahawks added some nice depth in defensive tackles Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams.
Though not stated, there is a general hint that the Seahawks have earned the right to take "intriguing projects" without them being regarded as high-risk.
The grade is fair based on the criteria. If Christine Michael pans out, the grade is probably a bit low. However, if Michael is unable to make an impact in the next couple of seasons, the grade may be about right.
Oh look, it’s another B- grade. Something tells me that this is going to be a common grade going forward.
The analysis from SI.com was similar to the Sporting News' in that the evaluators are giving Seattle some leeway based on the team’s success the past few seasons. In general, the sentiment seems to be that the ‘Hawks had some room to take some chances and “roll the dice.”
Sports Illustrated likes Jesse Williams and Jordan Hill, and based on where they were projected to go, they may turn out to be good values. This is especially true for Williams.
There is also the issue of Percy Harvin, as SI treats the dynamic playmaker like Seattle’s first-round pick. Given the reality that draft picks are all unproven commodities, the track record of Harvin seems to be giving the Seahawks some extra-credit points.
CBS Sports gave the Seahawks a B and felt compelled to specifically add the caveat of “counts Harvin.” It would be interesting to know how much Harvin added to that grade. What would the grade have been without Harvin?
C+? C? C-? D+?
It is fair to suggest that Harvin was essentially Seattle’s first-round pick. If Harvin performs to expectations, he will be well worth the pick. However, CBS Sports seems to have their doubts.
The favorite selection of CBS Sports was Jordan Hill, which is fair. Hill was a well-regarded prospect and may fit nicely into the Seattle defense. Chris Harper from Kansas State is also noted as a potentially good value.
We will see.
The grades are inching up, and yet again, Percy Harvin is factored into the grade. In this particular grading system, the reputation of John Schneider and Pete Carroll also seems to add a great deal of value.
Consider this quote:
The Seahawks have drafted just like this every year under Schneider and Pete Carroll. Seems like it's working.
Translation? The picks may or may not make sense based on the perceived needs of the team, but can you argue with success?
For example, Christine Michael may seem to create a logjam, but based on this type of evaluation, the perceptions seems to be that Seattle can handle the balance. Past success seems to impact the grade.
Finally, there is Fox Sports, which gives out draft grades from three different analysts. Again, all positive grades with a number of familiar themes.
Percy Harvin is again regarded as extra-credit work. Also, there is a hint that Christine Michael is perhaps a first-round talent. People love a bargain.
It is interesting to read the same general sentiment from a number of different writers. Specifically, this quote (from Peter Schrager, the A-grade writer) seems to sum up the attitude toward the Seahawks:
I gave their draft an “F” last year. That same draft netted Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson. I’m done questioning John Schneider. Until he proves us otherwise, he gets an A.
Indeed. Welcome to the extremely difficult world of draft grades.