Seahawks Draft Grade: Max Unger

Max Unger

Upside:

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Unger played left tackle his first two seasons at Oregon before moving to center his final two seasons. Oregon loved Unger's football intelligence and leadership. I shy away from situational qualities like "leadership", but Unger excels at awareness, adaptation and execution. He diagnoses plays quickly; efficiently adjusts to changing conditions, and brings the coach's play to life. He has good five-yard quickness and the footwork and knowledge of angles to be functionally agile. He's not strong or particularly athletic, and his upside is that of a solid to very good regular. He could make the Pro-Bowl on the wave of a great offense or a great and accomplished team.

Downside:

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Unger started 51 games at Oregon. He has no injury or character red flags. In Gregg Knapp's zone blocking scheme, his downside is very small. Unger is a natural fit for a fluid zone-blocking scheme that emphasizes decision making and movement over brute force and dominance at the point of attack. Accordingly, Unger's downside arises if Seattle changes blocking schemes. He is not scheme versatile and cannot excel at center or guard in a power rushing attack. He also is weak against the bull rush.

Fit:

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Knapp recently said his offense puts increased demands on the center to make line calls. Let's face it, apologies to Chris Spencer, but that favors Unger. Unger isn't too small to play guard, but he might be best as a center. It's undeniably a position Tim Ruskell values highly. As center, Unger is near-perfect match for Knapp's system. He's a born and made zone-blocking lineman. The other part of fit is filling a need. Seattle does not need a center insomuch that they have a recent first-round pick already playing the position, but if that first round pick is unfit to make line calls, then Seattle doesn't just need a center, it's ravenous for one. Spencer might be KO'd from starting at all, but watch to see if Seattle gets creative and tries him at guard. He played poorly at guard in 2006, but that was a long time and whole `nother offense ago. He's powerful and agile and has more potential than Rob Sims and more polish than Mansfield Wrotto.

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