"YouTube. Wikipedia. Baseball-Reference. These are places that can trap you for hours as you go from page to page, click to click, tab to tab. What started as a journey to find a great chocolate bacon recipe, ended in a mission to find out the truth about 9/11. These are the trappings and tendencies of the internet as we know it today.
I personally like Brazzers."
- Morgan Freeman, Through the Wormhole
My wormhole journey today, as it often is, was Pro-Football-Reference. Seriously, whoever started these reference sites (which could make a lot of money or could be worthless as far as I know) are some of the best dudes and/or chicks ever. I hope one of them was a girl. I love you, potentially-not-real-sports-nerd-lady.
Yesterday that journey began with a player that is not even a Seahawk, J.J. Watt. He's probably the NFL Defensive Player of the Year so far, terrorizing the league in 2012. (I was going to make a terrorist joke here, then thought better of it. I probably shouldn't censor myself. Damn it, the terrorists won.) Watt was the 11th overall pick in 2011. He was taken after ten other players, and if you re-drafted I'm not sure he'd go after nine of them. Cam Newton is probably the exception, but I'm not sure it's absolute and that's crazy to think about a quarterback coming off of one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history but Watt is that good.
However, most of the top eleven picks have turned into young NFL stars unlike what you'll normally see:
Newton, Von Miller, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson, Aldon Smith are already league stars. Marcell Dareus hasn't played too badly, I'm assuming Tyron Smith is a decent tackle for the Cowboys. Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert are so far the "and the rest" of this Gilligan's Island.
I'm not sure that fans in Denver or Cincinnati would rather have Watt, but we have to acknowledge that it only took him one year to become perhaps the best defensive end in football. How could one player be in the top ten of both sacks and pass deflections? That's like Michael Jordan leading the NBA in blocks in his second year.
Here I go again on a tangent. Get to the point already, idiot!
The Seahawks didn't pick until 25th, because those idiots decided to win the division and a playoff game at 7-9. Had we not, Seattle would have had the opportunity to draft Watt, but instead took James Carpenter. There's very little in that "Carpenter area" of the draft that makes me regret the pick. He's turned into a pretty good guard, might become a great one, and not having Jonathan Baldwin or Mark Ingram doesn't bother me in the slightest. (We'll see perhaps the best player taken at the end of the first round this weekend, the Jets DT Muhammad Wilkerson.)
After trading down in the second, Seattle was in a position to possibly have a mediocre draft overall. John Moffitt in the third made it a draft of two guards, basically, and that's a scary sign. However, as I look over the rest of the draft, I see that the Seahawks have a very good chance to wind up with the best 4th and 5th round picks in 2011. All of which was basically made possible by the fact the Seattle picked up extra picks in both of those rounds, otherwise they might have been left with Kris Durham and Mark LeGree.
It's funny how much we can praise Seattle's late round drafting for finding diamonds, but forget how often it also becomes rough. The Hawks took the best players (so far) in rounds four and five, and also took two guys that are no longer with the team.
While Deion Branch cost us a first round pick to the Patriots many years ago, he also netted us a pick at the top of the fourth round in going back to New England and that pick turned into K.J. Wright. It's only been 25 games, but Wright is an obvious standout to every other player taken in the fourth, so far. As a matter of fact, if you go up into the third round he's got a case against most of those players too.
It's even more phenomenal since the Hawks traded away their fourth round pick to get Marshawn Lynch, and still wound up with two picks. The pick to use Kris Durham coming from the deal with the Lions that sent Seattle out of the second round but instead gave them picks in the third (Remember that the Hawks dealt that pick for Charlie Whitehurst) fourth, fifth, and seventh in exchange for a 2, 5, and 7.
So the Hawks dealt picks to acquire Lynch and Whitehurst, then made other deals to acquire Moffitt, Wright, Durham, and spoiler alert: Richard Sherman.
The Seahawks used the fifth from the Lions to draft Sherman and then blew their own pick on LeGree. A move that without their earlier move would have made the front office look "Hella dumb, son!"
Sheman Sherman (hehe) is the class of the fifth right now, without question, meaning that John Schneider and Pete Carroll take the best players in the fourth and the fifth and both were used with picks that were not originally their own. Because it's a lot easier to be considered great at something when you have more opportunities to be great at it.
I suck at darts, but if you put me up against someone that's good and give me twice as many darts, I will lose by less. (Not win, mind you. But lose by less. I really suck.) Carroll and Schneider have proven their value in finding great talent by picking the two best players in those rounds of the draft (again, thus far, because it's too early to be very definitive about it) but we can't pretend like they didn't wish or believe that LeGree and Durham were going to also be great. They picked some great players, they picked some crappy ones. Relatively crappy, at least. They are so much better than you at football that it's unbelievable.
Don't look far from the 2012 class either, where Seattle drafted perhaps the NFL DROY in the second round, one of the best pass rushers in the draft, if not the best, in the first, and Russell "Your Bustle" Wilson. Funny to overlook that they took Jaye Howard, Korey Toomer, Jeremy Lane, and Winston Guy when you did so well in the beginning. While J.R. Sweezy has immediately turned into a solid backup and Greg Scruggs has been a great pass rusher in limited action.
You can fuck up on half your picks when you have ten picks. It's happening in 2012, it happened in 2011, it happened in 2010. It's the same thing that Schneider and Carroll are going to continue to do as long as other teams treat late round picks like the shitty candy you snagged on your Halloween trip around the neighborhood. Your Candy Corns are my Charleston Chews. (It's really hard for me to insult candy. I like it all because I'm fat. I don't have a problem with you, candy corn, but you fit so perfectly into that sentence!)
Richard Sherman leads the entire class in interceptions so far and, get this, is considered one of the best corners in the NFL! That's news to you!
K.J. is second in the draft in career tackles behind Mason Foster of the Buccaneers, despite not starting until the fifth game of his rookie season. I'd be mad at Aaron Curry, if it wasn't for the fact that he's going to net us another mid-round pick.
I can't wait to see what kind of future Pro Bowl player that turns into. Or at least, insurance for the player we cut from that round.