2011 Seahawks Draft: Quick and Dirty Review

I'll go through each pick and give some thoughts -- NOT grades or evaluations -- on the player Seattle selected and other players Seattle may have considered. 

Before getting into each selection, this draft looks like the maneuvering to get "younger (cheaper) and more athletic" that we expected in last season's draft. With only a late first round pick, one third, and then a bevy of late round picks, Seattle has left itself a good bit of financial flexibility. None of these picks should set the franchise back much should they fail to pan out. So, there's that. If I were a more speculative sort, I might suggest that Seattle is saving its pennies for the pro player market.

Anyway, onto the picks...

1 (25). James Carpenter, T, Alabama -- Carpenter strikes me as a similar talent to Holmgren-era RTs, like Floyd "Porkchop" Womack and Chris Terry. This pick may be rightly criticized for being extremely risk averse, but should anyone doubt the value of having above-the-median starters on the offensive line I would submit to them Seattle's 80 bazillion starting offensive line combinations in 2010.

Other considerations: Gabe Carimi, Jimmy Smith, Mark Ingram, Muhammad Wilkerson

Thoughts: It's easy to hammer this selection, but it's also easy to see why Seattle stayed away from these other players. From this group Jimmy Smith is the player Seattle is most likely to regret not taking. He has been compared to Chris McAllister, but was inconsistent in college and carries substantial risk of becoming an immaturity bust. I suspect Ingram may become the best player from this group, but I also suspect that Carroll/Schneider would never draft a first round RB. I also think Carroll/Schneider: a) like Carpenter's versatility over Carimi's, and b) viewed Wilkerson as a 3-4 end and didn't value that at 25th overall. 

2 (75). John Moffitt, G, Wisconsin -- Moffitt is another player who projects as a quality NFL starter at either guard. I read that he has played some center as well. 

Other considerations: William Rackley, Austin Pettis, Jurrell Casey, Leonard Hankerson, Jerrell Jernigan, Mason Foster

Thoughts: I really have no issues with this pick at all based on what came off the board in this area. Rang rated Rackley (pick #76 to J'Ville) a bit higher than Moffitt. None of these other players would threaten to start on day 1, nor is their upside substantially higher than Moffitt's if at all.

3 (99). K.J. Wright, LB, Mississippi State -- I'm really not sure what to think about this pick. I have read that Seattle sees Wright as a LEO end. I know he got offers from all of the middle-of-the pack (at the time) SEC schools, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Auburn, and he got regular burn as a freshman and then started 3 seasons. He was productive on some good MSU defenses though not highly decorated across three seasons as a starter (2nd team Pre-Season all-SEC in 2010), and he didn't test well at the combine (not sure about his pro day).

Other considerations: Christian Ballard, Clint Boling, Sam Acho

Thoughts: I might have preferred Ballard. Boling is a highly-regarded guard candidate, though I suspect he may have been overkill at this point. I also think the team likes Gibson more than many fans.

4 (107). Kris Durham, WR, Georgia -- I really have doubts about this pick. I wonder if Seattle had targeted Ballard only to see him selected at #106 (Minnesota). I have seen a good bit of Georgia over the last few seasons, and Durham has a nice size/speed combination. But, he was not very productive until his senior season. That's odd, because if anything he should have benefited from playing opposite A.J. Green. This is not an egregious reach in the fourth round, but I saw players go off the board in this area I would have preferred.

Other considerations: Quinton Carter, Greg Salas, Edmund Gates, Kendall Hunter

Thoughts: At the risk of being overly critical, I would have taken any of these "other considerations" players over Durham, even if Seattle likes his measurables. South Carolina's Tori Gurley has almost identical size and was to my mind a similar--if not better--week-to-week player, and he went undrafted. Kendall Hunter is a player I absolutely adore. He would have been very high-quality depth. Gates is a potential home run hitter. Obviously, I hope Durham comes in and tears it up. The kid has some tools. But, this was an odd selection to me.

5 (154). Richard Sherman, CB, Stanford -- Sherman's TD catch to beat Carroll's 41-point favorite Trojans in some ways marked the symbolic beginning of Carroll's journey to Seattle. He said on the radio that he started recruiting Sherman at 15 years old. So, he should know what he's getting. This gamble makes more sense to me than Durham. Sherman is inexperienced at corner, but he has tools and Carroll knows him. I just look at the kid and ask, "shouldn't Seattle consider moving him to safety?" I also think Sherman should come in contribute right away on special teams. 

Other considerations: Niles Paul, Nathan Enderle, Chykie Brown

Thoughts: Enderle may have a been a worthwhile gamble on a QB, but he's not an overly impressive prospect. Brown has more experience at CB, but I think Sherman's upside is higher. Otherwise, meh. Oh, and I hate Niles Paul's game (disclaimer: Missouri fan). He's the ultimate tease (hands of stone), but he'll probably make a quality return man.

5 (156). Mark Legree, S, Appalachian State -- At this point everyone knows about the 22 interceptions at a quality FCS school. So, we know he at least has some coverage ability and some serious ball skills. He's a project but he clearly brings things to the table that are easy to like. It also helps that he has special teams experience.

Other considerations: same as above

Thoughts: What's not to like about this pick? This is a worthwhile gamble, particularly when looking at what came off the board in this area.

6 (173). Byron Maxwell, DB, Clemson -- He's got some size and speed (6'0/202 with 4.43 speed) and played special teams in college.

Other considerations: Tyrod Taylor, Ronald Johnson, Greg Jones, Allen Bradford, Mike Mohamed

Thoughts: I am a tad surprised, given what Schneider said in the pre-draft run up, that he didn't select a project QB. I actually think Taylor can be developed into a reasonable backup. Otherwise, interesting that Carroll passed over a couple Trojans.

7 (206). Lazarius Levingston, DT/DE, LSU -- A prospect as a 5-technique end. 

7 (242). Malcolm Smith, OLB, USC -- A project LB that runs well. 

Other considerations: <Shoulder shrug> Beauty is in the eye of the beholder at this point.

Thoughts: Levingston is an interesting backup to Red Bryant, a practice squad candidate. I thought they'd target Missouri's Andrew Gachkar in this part of the draft, though Smith is a comparable Will Herring clone.

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