Seattle Seahawks Draft Recap
1. Lawrence Jackson (DE-USC) Jackson was probably a little bit of a reach her #28 overall with Clemson's Phillip Merling still on the board, but he's also rumored to have been the #1 player on the Hawks board for who they wanted at their original #25 pick (they traded down three spots with Dallas). Not necessarily a positional need--not in the first round anyway--Jackson may be a prime example of the Seahawks drafting who they viewed to be the Best Player Available. A four-year starter at USC, Jackson captained a solid defensive unit which was riddled with injuries last season. He's quick, but doesn't appear to have the closing speed you really desire in a pass rusher, but at 271 lbs he will definitely be a factor against the run. People are likening Jackson to New York's Justin Tuck. If he can learn how to rush up the middle as well as from the end spot, then this could prove to be a steal at the end of the first round.
2. John Carlson (TE-Notre Dame) Carlson was not the tight end fans wanted to see taken (especially with Texas A&M's Martellus Bennet still on the board). He doesn't possess the speed required to stretch the field vertically and seemed to have troubles holding onto passes last season. A major plus is his blocking ability and his size at 6'5 and 250 lbs. But again the lack of speed come back to hurt the Hawks as fans witnessed a poor tight end in Marcus Pollard contribute to their playoff loss in Green Bay last season. Look for Carlson to be primarily a red zone threat where the field is compressed and he can use his wide frame and height to his advantage.
4. Red Bryant (DT-Texas A&M) Seattle traded it's 3rd round pick as part of the deal to move up and get Carlson. Bryant is a big body drafted for only one reason: STOP THE RUN. At 318 lbs, he doesn't have the closing speed to be utilized as a pass rusher. But he will help clog the lanes up the middle and could be developed alongside Brandon Mebane and the two could become quite an interior force against the run. In the 4th round, this could be the best player the Hawks drafted and provides much needed depth for the interior defensive line.
5. Owen Schmitt (FB-W. VA) Schmitt was the lead blocker and third option in the rushing attack of Pat White and Steve Slaton at West Virginia. With a 4.73 40 time, he actually is faster than Carlson. And at 247 lbs only four pounds lighter coming out of the backfield. He has one of the best stats in football: he broke 10 face masks in college. He runs with power and he hard to bring down (he was only tackled for loss twice in his collegiate career). He'll probably warm the bench behind Leonard Weaver this season, but could see spot duty in short yardage situations. I saw one potential backfield of Weaver, Schmitt and T.J. Duckett coming in for 3-and-short in very critical situations. That could provide a lot of headaches for opposing defenses (and the equipment managers...).
6. Tyler Schmitt (LS-San Diego St.) Long snapping was a question mark for Seattle last season as the team saw three players play the position. Schmitt was a four-year starter in college and as been timed as fast as .53 seconds from his hands to the punter. He also is quick enough to come out of his squat and make a tackle down field as part of the coverage team.
7. Justin Forsett (RB-Cal) Forsett has been compared to Maurice Jones-Drew of Jacksonville--only two inches taller and 20 lbs lighter--ESPN doesn't list a 40-yd dash time for MJD, but at 4.55 seconds, Forsett isn't exactly lightning. This was an interesting pick, as the Hawks loaded up on running backs during the off season and then said goodbye to former MVP Shaun Alexander. Forsett could be brought into camp to compete with Maurice Morris who has been relegated to apparent third string this season. If Mo Mo doesn't perform up to standard then Forsett could make the club this season, otherwise the Hawks may be thinking of sending him to the Practice Squad to bulk up in order to handle the pounding of the NFL.
7. Brandon Coutu (K-Georgia) Seattle gained an extra 7th rd pick from Dallas as part of the rd 1 trade. Coutu was rated as the best kicker in this year's class and after the off season departure of Josh Brown, it was a need position. He'll probably have to compete with Olindo Mare for the starting job, but he's been working out with Morten Anderson to help prepare for NFL kicking. He has a very strong leg and will be an upgrade on kick offs.
Overall, I was a little indifferent about this draft. I didn't hate it and I didn't love it. They addressed some needs at Kicker, Tight end, D. Tackle, and Long Snapping, and provided depth at DE, RB and FB. Obviously, no one really knows how the players will pan out and if they'll be busts or steals but here's to hoping they're all steals!
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