NFL Draft 2011: Seattle Seahawks Select James Carpenter at No. 25—What?! Who?

Brad HinkleContributor IApril 29, 2011

Former teammates James Carpenter #77 and Marcel Dareus #57
Former teammates James Carpenter #77 and Marcel Dareus #57Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images


With the 25th pick, the Seattle Seahawks select James Carpenter, tackle, Alabama.....


I tilted my head to the side in confusion, watching Nick Saban's gaping maw catch flies in bewilderment as, well...Who was this person?

From what I can tell after some digging, James is a big strong finesse/power blocker who fits Tom Cable's and Pete Carroll's vision of the line. He can play most spots along the line so he could EASILY end up being our RG so that someone like Stacy Andrews or Ray Willis could be RT. Or he could just play RT...whatever works since I'm still assuming the Hawks are going to nab up Robert Gallery to stabilize the left side of our line.

All I've been hearing in most circles amongst Seahawks fans is anger. We skipped out on Da'Quan Bowers AND Jimmy Smith. And Gabe Carimi—three choices who could have really helped this team. MAYBE.

With Bowers, you run the risk of drafting a player with elite talent who never recognizes his potential because of his devastating knee injury. With Jimmy Smith, you have to deal with character concerns that aren't good to have around a young nucleus of players, and questionable instinct at the pro level. And apparently lots of teams weren't sold on Carimi who fell past quite a few teams that really needed him for reasons we really aren't sure of.

But I say, why bother hating this pick? Was it only last season that the Jacksonville Jaguars pulled off a "What Who" with Tyson Alualu? And he actually turned out to be arguably the second best DT taken in last year's draft for the season.

When we drafted him, I was like "what? who?" but after researching him I see a lot I like. It remains to be seen whether or not he will preform or not, but we're not the only team that skipped over an "obvious" choice—and there are no obvious choices in the NFL.

We the fans like to think that we, in our limited wisdom, know who is BEST for our team, and we can discuss all we want, but the truth is that until the draft is going on and you see how the picks fall. Until you look over that infinite amount of tape, you're really just in the dark and going off big names and what bloggers and ESPN analysts tell you for the most part.

Seahawk fans and everyone else: combines only tell you so much. I'm not ready to say that Carpenter was the right pick, but it's not like a dozen other teams were passing on "surefire" prospects. And I mean...Ponder to Minnesota?! Gabe Carimi ACTUALLY BEING AT No. 25? Prince Amukamura and his NFL-illegal playing style going FAR below where it was expected to?

There is stuff these teams know and research that we don't. And as for Carpenter being a reach, people were suspecting that he wasn't going to make it past Pittsburgh, so no, he wasn't a surefire No. 1 but he wasn't necessarily dropping to the second round either. He seems like a real dark horse and could really be something special that none of us saw coming considering his under-the-radar praise.

Then again, maybe it was a complete misfire. Gotta see how he plays first. The jury is still out.

Last year Chris Ivory, an undrafted RB along with Arian Foster, also unheralded, made waves in the league. Half of Minnesota's once formidable Williams wall was UNDRAFTED. Tom Brady was about as far from being a first-rounder as you could get. Matt Hasselbeck wasn't too shabby either. Just because some analyst slaps a number on someone, it doesn't mean that they are really better or worse than whoever is ranked above or below them..

Our pick was much better than Cam Newton at No. 1 in my books; unfathomably better than Potential-less Ponder at No. 12.