Pete Carroll is entering his second season as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, and I will say that his exit could come sooner than later if some of these 2011 NFL draft picks don’t pan out.
Seattle didn’t have a great draft overall. I think the Seahawks hit on a few sleeper selections, but the value of their draft picks overall was average at best.
NFL Soup’s breakdown of each Seattle selection is here.
Round 1, Pick 25: James Carpenter, OT, Alabama
Here’s where it starts. The biggest reach in the 2011 NFL draft is James Carpenter by far. Some NFL sites had Carpenter as a second- or third-round talent, and I had him as a fourth-round talent at the very most. Two months ago I had Carpenter struggling to stay in my top 200, but I watched over him again and saw that he may be worth a fourth-rounder. But he’s Andre Smith 2.0. He’s not in great shape, he’s flabby and he’s slow.
His best position will be at right guard, where he actually could excel. He’ll play right tackle for Seattle to start, but he’ll most likely disappoint.
Round 3, Pick 75 (from Lions): John Moffitt, OG, Wisconsin
The selection of John Moffitt wasn’t bad, actually. He’s a solid guard who gets to the second level in a hurry and could immediately boost the run game. I had an early fourth-round grade, so the value wasn’t terrible, although I think they could have addressed more of a need, perhaps a quarterback to groom behind Matt Hasselbeck.
Round 4, Pick 99 (from Broncos, through Patriots): K.J. Wright, OLB, Mississippi State
K.J. Wright has good potential, but I don’t feel that he was worth a fourth-round selection at all. He fits a 3-4 scheme a bit better than a 4-3 SAM backer, and I think he may end up being tried inside because of his ability to tackle. He has good physical ability, and he’s a smart player. I just don’t like the value overall.
Round 4, Pick 107 (from Lions): Kris Durham, WR, Georgia
Sleeper alert: Kris Durham is a big, tough receiver. The problem with this selection is that he’s very raw as a route runner. He spent most of his time running downfield and tricking corners with a double move. Durham’s toughness can’t be questioned, as he took hit after hit while maintaining possession through the catch, using his tall 6'5" frame to go up and catch the ball. He has solid hands and is faster than most realize.
I think he could have been had a round or two later, but I can’t fault Carroll for going with this size and speed combination.
Round 5, Pick 154 (from Chiefs, through Lions): Richard Sherman, CB, Stanford
Another sleeper for Pete Carroll is Richard Sherman. Sherman was a late sub in the Senior Bowl and turned a few heads with his physical play. He was a former wide receiver who made the transition to cornerback recently, partially because he just can’t catch. He’s not afraid to tackle, but his play is a lot like undrafted rookie Kendric Burney.
Round 5, Pick 156: Mark LeGree, FS, Appalachian State
I’m very skeptical of this pick, mostly because I don’t care for LeGree’s ruthless play. He made a lot of interceptions and pass deflections by taking chances and jumping in front of receivers, but he won’t get away with that in the NFL, and I don’t think he’s quick enough to make plays in center field at the next level.
Round 6, Pick 173 (from Lions): Byron Maxwell, CB, Clemson
The Seahawks opted to go for more cornerback depth by selecting Maxwell, who made a name for himself by forcing fumbles and making great tackles at Clemson. But his coverage ability is average at the very most, and he’ll likely be restricted to special teams at the next level.
Round 7, Pick 205 (from Broncos, through Lions): Lazarius Levingston, DT, LSU
I don’t mind the selection of Levingston, who was an under-appreciated part of that stout Tiger defensive line. In the seventh round, Pep was solid value, and he has some penetrating ability. The Seahawks are looking for replacements for Brandon Mebane soon, and Levingston could be in the mix.
Round 7, Pick 242: Malcolm Smith, LB, USC
Carroll must know something about his former linebacker from USC. I don’t see much from Smith except for an undersized, poor-tackling linebacker. He’s athletic but a huge project. However, being one of the very last picks in the draft, taking that project is the name of the game.
Overall Grade: C