2013 NFL Draft Results: Quickie take on Day Three

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Let there be competition.

With far too many players to go through individually, I will just offer a few organizing thoughts on this draft and this off-season as more or less informed speculation.

1. Offensively, this team remains committed to ball control and explosive plays. It is not trying to turn Russell Wilson into Drew Brees.

It is telling that the two major additions at receiver, Harvin and 4th round pick Chris Harper, both came from very run-heavy offenses. I am increasingly convinced that this is an independent factor in evaluation. That is, can this guy function in an offense where he has to block and is not necessarily going to see a ton of balls thrown at him?

At the same time, the team clearly favors athleticism relative to technical proficiency. (To be clear, it is always a ratio. This team is more tolerant of a rawer prospect that meets certain athleticism requirements than, say, Holmgren, who erred on the side of skill.) This front office values slugging percentage a bit more than on base percentage, if I might be permitted a baseball analogy.

It is also telling that the front office evidently values continuity on the offensive line, passing on a good bit of offensive line talent until late in the draft.

2. Defensively, this team remains committed to "running a 4-3 with 3-4 personnel" and wants to be able to mix and match in the front seven.

After the run defense so very clearly wore down late last season, I wondered how it might be addressed. Seattle remains committed to its core approach, not surprisingly. With plans to use Jesse Williams at the "Alan Branch" big three technique rather than full-time as Red Bryant's caddy at the five technique, the team is clearly committed to run defense first in the base front four.

Still, it is quite likely that Seattle will look to strengthen its pass rush through various sub-packages more so than in its base defense. Jordan Hill should strengthen Seattle's rotation at both the three- and one-technique.

3. Seattle is serious about creating field position through special teams. The Seahawks are at least a 9 on the 10-point Erickson-Schottenheimer scale.

Chris Harper, Luke Willson, and Spencer Ware, I anticipate, will make the roster, though it is hardly set in stone for any of them. Assuming they do, their primary contributions are likely to be on special teams. The same seems true for Christine Michael, but he seems likely to have a bigger role in the offense. I see Harper specifically as a higher upside replacement for Obomanu as a gunner. (Consider that Byron Maxwell is frequently injured and Jeron Johnson is no lock for the roster.)

Regardless, the coverage and return units should be fierce. With Harvin on kickoffs and talk of Tate returning punts, Seattle is looking to create short fields for itself while forcing opponents to drive the length. (No one was perhaps more contemptuous of lengthening the field for opponents than Dennis Erickson. That is why he anchors the low end of the scale. Perhaps the only coach in recent memory more special teams-focused than Pete Carroll was Marty Schottenheimer.)

4. This draft was mostly for replication and replenishment.

An age old draft dilemma is the one about talent, need, and fit. It is often falsely dichotomized to talent vs. need. What you draft for depends on what stage of life a roster is in. Seattle should be drafting to replicate itself, and not necessarily to incorporate new, incommensurate talent.

This team has already been through that stage when it drafted Golden Tate and Richard Sherman, traded for Chris Clemons, and signed Alan Branch. Now, we are seeing if we can win a title with this approach and these players. This draft, and hopefully the next several, is about reproducing or replicating the roles that make this approach work, and adding fresh (and... ahem... inexpensive) players to fill those roles.

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