On Tuesday, we took a look at how the Arizona Cardinals fared in the 2011 NFL Draft, and I gave them a 'B,' mostly for the selection of Patrick Peterson and the solid value in Sam Acho. Ultimately, I decided that the Cardinals did not do enough in the draft to make them better at positions of need, especially when it comes to pass rushers and, you know, that mildly important position: quarterback. Today, we'll cover the 2010 NFC West champs (which is akin to being the first person to post "first!" in the Nuggets each day), the Seattle Seahawks. Let's get right into looking at each pick and how I see them.
Round 1 (25th overall): James Carpenter, OL, Alabama
At the time of the pick, Carpenter seemed like he was a bit of a reach. After all, there were probably better tackles on the board at the time, but when I really go back and look over it, Carpenter probably would not have lasted very many more picks, and that's the guy Seattle really wanted. It's a good pick, he'll start from day one (probably) and he's a mauler. The Seahawks need to get better on their line and improve their running game, and no matter how you slice it, Carpenter does that for them. Jump for more.
Round 3 (76th overall): John Moffitt, G, Wisconsin
The Seahawks don't currently have a quarterback, but they have a running back in Marshawn Lynch who is playing with a chip on his shoulders. Instead of drafting a signal caller, they continued to beef up that offensive line, and Moffitt is definitely a guy who would beef up any line. He's another guy who is a "mauler" and may not start from day one, but when he makes it into the lineup (somewhere along the interior of the Seattle line), he'll be a run-blocking force.
Round 4 (99th overall): K.J. Wright, LB, Mississippi St.
Wright is a value pick in the fourth round, but that's only because his ceiling is very open to interpretation. He's a very athletic guy who can become a playmaker on any defense, or he can be a premier special teamer. The latter is a worst-case scenario, but it's not all that bad ... the worst part about it is the fact that you don't get your special teamer in round four. Still, he's taken here for potential, and he can be a force all over the field.
The Rest of the Way
Round 4: Kris Durham, WR, Georgia (107th overall)
Round 5: Richard Sherman, DB, Stanford (154th overall)
Round 5: Mark Legree, FS, Appalachian St. (156th overall)
Round 6: Byron Maxwell, DB, Clemson (173rd overall)
Round 7: Lazarius Levingston, DL, LSU (205th overall)
Round 7: Malcolm Smith, OLB, USC (242nd overall)
Durham is a good pick because he's got an impressive combination of size (6'5'', 220) and speed (4.46), and will work well with Mike Williams when it comes to bullying a defense. My favorite pick out of these guys is Richard Sherman, who is one of my sleeper candidates at the corner position, and he fits right in-line with a fifth round pick. Sherman can probably see the field early in nickel situations, and maybe even earn himself a starting job in the future if he has the proper coaching.
The team then went on to add two more defnesive backs after Sherman, and I really like what Legree brings. He's extremely athletic, and if he and Sherman grow at the same rate and possibly get inserted into roles at the same time, they will take teams by surprise. I really don't see any upside in Smith, but Levingston could be good ... or maybe I'm just judging him by his awesome name, who knows?
All-in-all, the Seahawks got a lot better early on with the way they want to operate in 2011 (running the ball), but there were probably better picks at each selection in just about every round. I don't know a way I can spin this draft into anything other than "lackluster," but don't take that as me saying these guys won't contribute. Carpenter has pro bowl potential and the sky is the limit for Moffitt, but it's hard to find a real diamond in this really rough haul.
Need: B, Value: D+, Overall: C