Fellow 12th-Man Peter Bugayong recently posted a comment on one of my articles that definitely has some merit. Peter wrote “I was kinda hoping the Seahawks would try and go after a proven yet younger tackle, maybe through a trade. I wouldn't mind giving the 14th (or maybe even the 6th) for a tackle like Jared Gaither who's still only 23 years old. What you think?” I just wanted to take some time to expand on my answer and see what the rest of you Seahawk fans out there think about this proposal.
First off, if you don’t know who Jared Gaither is, he’s a very large man. At 6’9’’and 340 lbs., Gaither is a mammoth. He currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens and is good enough to keep Hollywood heartthrob Michael Oher at the RT position for the time being. The best part about him (already mentioned by Peter) is that he’s only 23 years old.
At the moment there have been some quiet reports that San Francisco, Indianapolis, and the Seahawks are all showing at least some interest in him. Baltimore has already given Gaither a first-round tender, so if you’ve been following the Brandon Marshall story you know what that means. If not, it means that if Seattle makes Gaither an offer and Baltimore refuses to match it, then we’d have to give up the sixth overall pick in the draft. Fortunately, a trade is a possibility at grabbing him.
The first question I have is, would he fit in Seattle’s zone-blocking system? His official 40 time at the Combine was 5.32 seconds. I can’t lie and say that’s fast, but you can’t help but lick your chops as a fan when you hear there’s a slight possibility you could pick up a 23-year-old, 340-pound LT. This is especially true if you’ve been punished as a fan by having to watch the Seahawks OL for the past few years.
The second question I have is, what’s he worth to us? Baltimore would get the sixth overall pick from us if we didn’t trade. If we did trade, we could try to send a player their way along with our second round pick. At that point I think he becomes much more attractive to Seattle. The problem with this is that if the interest shown by San Fran and Indianapolis is legitimate, then there’s no way we’d get him for a second rounder. San Fran, like us, has two first-round picks they could use as ammo. Indianapolis is sitting even prettier with the 31st pick. It’d be much easier for them to give up No. 31 than for us to give up either of our first-round picks.
The last question I have is, will any injuries bring him down? From what I understand he’s had a shoulder injury and some issues with knees but nothing incredibly serious enough to really worry people. At his size it’s amazing he hasn’t had a dozen knee surgeries, so at this point I wouldn’t be too worried. Besides, if we traded for him, he’d go through a physical and we’d found out if he was broken or not.
It’s very tempting to get involved but what do you guys think? He’s proven, he’s young, and there’s no sure bet in the draft especially if Bulaga and Okung get picked up before our first pick. To be honest ,if we could pull it off with just a second rounder I would jump all over him. That’d take care of a HUGE need in Seattle and would allow us to draft other positions more freely, such as safety, defensive line, and wide receiver. Those are my thoughts—now let’s have yours.