As soon as the most anticipated game in Seahawk history is over. Whether we blow out the Broncos or win by a Hauschka field goal, the draft process will be upon us. As most Seahawk fans know predicting who John Schneider and Pete Carroll based on team need or draft ‘value’ is downright foolish. This doesn’t mean that we cannot make estimated guesses as to whom they’re going to take based on a few drafting principles this dynamic duo seem to follow consistently.
First off, the player’s will to compete is absolutely trait number one in the eyes of Pete and John. In other words, if you don’t love playing football you’re not going to be a Seahawk. This mantra reigns true to our biggest stars whether it is Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman or Earl Thomas. When Pete and John entered the organization they instilled the message of constant competition by overhauling the roster that had over two hundred player transactions. These transactions abolished the old culture that had 4-12 and 5-11 seasons.
Another important trait for PC and JS is athleticism. You don’t need to be a four-year starter to make plays on this football team. Pete has enough confidence in his coaches to mold these young and often raw athletes into playmakers on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Pete and John don’t particularly care where you come from if you were the star quarterback for Alabama or a backup tight end for Rice.
While the type of player is mainly the same there are wrinkles when dividing the subject to offense and defense. On defense Pete and John look almost exclusively to big, strong, long, athletic players. On offense it’s more of a sense of versatility. Players on the defense that who subscribe to this notion include Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Bobby Wagner and my personal favorite, Seahawk Michael Bennett. When you look across the board on the defense these players are big, fast physical specimens who love to play football.
So why were these Seahawks overlooked coming out of college? Well each player has their specific sub-story if you will, but the main reason is experience. The Bill Belichicks of the world want the experienced starters that Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay rave about because there is simply more game tape. All of this hearsay is proving to be to Pete and John’s benefit; so keep talking Mel and Todd.
On the offensive end I could go on and on about how Russell Wilson got screwed over by the draft process and how a 5’ 10" quarterback can play at the NFL level. Honestly, that’s a broken record that I’ve heard more times than I want to recall. I must say, though, Russell Wilson does fall under the category of being a versatile offensive playmaker. Russell’s ability to scramble in a day and age when passing allegedly wins championships makes him special. But Russell isn’t the only player who can do a little bit of everything; look at Golden Tate, Percy Harvin (not technically drafted but he may as well have been), Luke Willson, hell we can even look at J.R. Sweezy. All of these players present the threat to beat you with athleticism and can be lined up virtually anywhere on the field.
When looking back at the job Pete Carroll and John Schneider you cannot deny its greatness. But now they face a crossroads; with this Seahawks team being dominant and on the verge of a super bowl victory, where will they go from here; what I mean is in previous years when it came to draft time, the team needs were so abundant that you could fill a spot by just picking a position out of a hat. I’m intrigued to see what position Pete and John go with in the first round and the remainder of the draft whether it being a position of need or strength.