DK edit: In a probably futile attempt to limit or minimize the "Suck for Luck" discussions at Field Gulls, I've front paged this article. Why? Well, first of all, it's well-researched and thorough, and it's hard for me not to praise something like that. Second, here's your chance to get it out of your system.
If you MUST talk about the "Suck for Luck" idea, do it here, in this segment, because rest assured, it's not going to be welcome in most other articles' commentary. Take that as fair warning. This may become a weekly post, and the further the season progresses and the playoff picture emerges, the more relevant this becomes.
This column will act sort of like Whiskey Chainsaw's awesome fantasy football column -- FF and the Seahawks' 2012 Draft position don't have a happy home in most of our discussions here at Field Gulls, but that doesn't mean people don't want to talk about it. Anyway, this is not an endorsement of the idea that we should root for our team to lose so just abandon that argument right now. But what Hmph has put together is actual research and not just "Dude, the Seahawks will suck this year," and it will give you an idea of where the Seahawks are, in reality, in terms of draft position.
Is this premature? Of course it is. The Seahawks are only 0-2 at the moment, after all. Still, if this place is going to go all bonkers over "Suck for Luck" or "Go Splat For Matt (Barkley)", it may be a good idea to keep an eye on all the other teams in the league who may be trying to do the same thing.
(Note: I'm not on the "Tank it for a high draft pick" bandwagon. While I think this team needs to use this year to gauge their needs for the next step of the rebuilding process and not worry about making the playoffs, I think it antagonizes the fans - especially the ones who pay to attend the games in person - to go through the motions for an entire season. That said, we're a horrible team this year, so there's no harm in tracking just how bad we are.)
Obviously, there are a handful of other teams that look to be just as putrid this year. The Chiefs seem to have taken a major step backwards this year, and injuries to Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry and Tony Moeaki have not done them any favors. The Colts are going to be sans Peyton Manning for at least half the season, and without any serious hopes at the playoffs themselves it's hard to imagine they'll be in a big hurry to get him back on the field. The Bengals and Jaguars won their first game, but neither Andy Dalton nor Blaine Gabbert instills a lot of confidence in their short-term prospects.
On that note, I'll be tracking the hypothetical draft order of all 32 teams as the season progresses.
How exactly is the draft order determined, you ask? Well, it's a total of four criteria:
- Win-loss record
- Strength of schedule (total win-loss record of all opponents)
- Divisional win-loss record
- Random draw (coin toss)
In other words, if two teams tie for the same record, the team with the weakest schedule is ranked higher. If that's tied, it's the divisional record, and finally a coin toss if there's still a deadlock.
So, here is how the draft would look if it were to take place tomorrow based on Week 2 records - and all you "Suck for Luck" devotees, there's some good news for you.
1. Seahawks -- 0-2, 15-17 SOS, 0-1 Div.
2. Rams -- 0-2, 16-16 SOS, 0-0 Div.
3. Colts -- 0-2,17-15 SOS, 0-1 Div.
4-5 Panthers -- 0-2, 18-14 SOS, 0-0 Div.
4-5 Chiefs -- 0-2, 18-14 SOS, 0-0 Div.
6. Vikings -- 0-2, 19-13 SOS, 0-0 Div.
7. Dolphins -- 0-2, 23-9 SOS, 0-1 Div.
8. Cardinals -- 1-1, 11-21 SOS, 0-0 Div.
9. Browns -- 1-1, 13-19 SOS, 0-1 Div.
10. Steelers -- 1-1, 14-18 SOS, 0-1 Div.
11-12. Falcons -- 1-1, 14-18 SOS, 0-0 Div.
11-12. Saints -- 1-1, 14-18 SOS, 0-0 Div.
13-14. 49ers -- 1-1, 14-18 SOS, 1-0 Div.
13-14. Bengals -- 1-1, 14-18 SOS, 1-0 Div.
15-16. Buccaneers -- 1-1, 15-17 SOS, 0-0 Div.
15-16. Bears -- 1-1, 15-17 SOS, 0-0 Div.
17. Ravens -- 1-1, 15-17 SOS, 1-0 Div.
18. Titans -- 1-1, 16-16 SOS, 0-1 Div.
19. Jaguars -- 1-1, 16-16 SOS, 1-0 Div.
20. Broncos -- 1-1, 17-15 SOS, 0-1 Div.
21. Chargers -- 1-1, 17-15 SOS, 0-0 Div.
22. Eagles -- 1-1, 18-14 SOS, 0-0 Div.
23. Raiders -- 1-1, 18-14 SOS, 1-0 Div.
24. Giants -- 1-1, 19-13 SOS, 0-1 Div.
25. Cowboys -- 1-1, 19-13 SOS, 0-0 Div.
26. Texans -- 2-0, 12-20 SOS, 1-0 Div.
27. Packers -- 2-0, 13-19 SOS, 0-0 Div.
28. Lions -- 2-0, 14-18 SOS, 0-0 Div.
29. Redskins -- 2-0, 14-18 SOS, 1-0 Div.
30. Patriots -- 2-0, 15-17 SOS, 1-0 Div.
31-32. Bills -- 2-0, 18-14 SOS, 0-0 Div.
31-32. Jets -- 2-0, 18-14 SOS, 0-0 Div.
As you can see, the Seahawks would have the honor of making the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft if it were held right now. Of course, as the season progresses these numbers will continue to shift, but right now it shows we have the inside track for the #1 pick, for the time being.
Who are those teams in italics, you may ask? Well, they're the five teams that I consider to be most desperate at the quarterback position in the near future. The Colts are going to want to find a protegé for Peyton sooner rather than later, especially if injuries start to catch up with the former active leader in consecutive QB starts. Chad Henne hasn't shot his team in the foot thus far this year, but fans have been clamoring for an upgrade in the preseason and with Sparano's seat being warm, you figure a new coach would want a new QB.
Alex Smith never was and never will be the solution at QB, and Jim Harbaugh would probably love to snag that guy from Stanford if given the chance. And if John Fox becomes unhappy with Kyle Orton's play, he'll probably get his own QB before putting the team in Tebow's hands. Having the #1 pick isn't necessarily important, but if the 'Hawks want to have their pick of quarterbacks in the draft next year, they'll want as few of these teams picking ahead of them as possible.
Strength of Schedule is the wild card here: since the NFC West is a combined 2-6 currently, any team that faces the whole division - namely, the NFC East and the AFC North - get a nice boost to their strength of schedule ranking, not to mention the NFC West teams themselves who play each other twice. That has a lot to do with why the Seahawks are at the top of the draft, the Rams are second, and the Dolphins are the lowest-drafting 0-2 team at the moment, since all three of its divisional opponents are at 2-0.
That'll do it for this week's report. We'll see how things continue to shake out next Tuesday.