clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why Seattle Won't Draft Kentwan Balmer

This is how I imagine most mock drafts are constructed: Identify team need, put in highest ranked available player at said need. This highly complex process has Seattle drafting Kentwan Balmer in the first. Analyst determined Seattle needs a defensive tackle, Balmer is the highest ranked available player at that position. Zounds. That's all well and good except Seattle absolutely will not draft Kentwan Balmer. Not a chance. Here's why.

Seattle doesn't NEED a defensive tackle. Seattle featured one of the best front 7s in football last season. The linebackers get the glory, but that production starts up front. Darryl Tapp, Brandon Mebane, Rocky Bernard and Patrick Kerney comprise one of the most formidable and balanced defensive lines in football. Craig Terrill is a serviceable interior pass rush specialist and despite the voodoo analysis that argues Marcus Tubbs is a complete question mark, both ACL tears and Microfracture Surgery have well studied and predictable recovery periods. While one can't be sure Tubbs will ever stay healthy, he will be healthy at the start of training camp. At defensive end, Seattle has Baraka Atkins and Jason Babin. Entering 2008, Seattle's defensive line needs only depth, and depth at really only one position, the 3 tech. For all his appearances on the injury report, Bernard has only been forced to miss one game in the last 3 seasons. And though he may never be the pass rushing force he once was, Bernard is still one of the best single gap, run stopping 3 techs in football. Oh, and he's entering his contract year, so...yeah.

Kentwan Balmer is NOT a 3 tech. If Seattle needs depth at the 3 and a possible successor to Bernard, then it would make sense that who they draft is a 3 tech and fits their scheme, right? Strike one, strike two. Balmer is more of a Nose Tackle, 3-4 end, or 1 tech. Assuming he realizes his potential, Balmer could make a decent run stuffer with some ability to rush the passer. Balmer doesn't possess a particularly fast first step and beats blockers by simply overwhelming them. Seattle runs a single gap penetrating defense. Balmer would be badly mismatched at their 3, and would be behind both Mebane and Tubbs at the 1. I know few buy into Tubbs' health, but still, why spend your first round pick on a player who will see limited snaps playing behind last year's rookie standout? Makes no sense.

Balmer ISN'T a very good player. And now we arrive at the coup de grâce. The line on Balmer is thus: Great talent, underachiever, big breakout senior season. Sounds like a first rounder to me. Seriously though, if we take a step back and assume Seattle would draft Balmer as an eventual replacement for Bernard, that I'm wrong and Balmer could develop into a top 3 tech, then we should also assume he did something his senior season to support that argument. Seattle needs its 3 to rush the passer. Perhaps not always convert the sack, but provide pressure. Balmer recorded 3.5 sacks, good, but only 4 hurries, bad. But, oh, oh, oh, it gets worse. All 3.5 of those sacks and 3 of his 4 hurries were against East Carolina, Maryland, NC State and Duke. Between those 4 teams the closest thing to an interior offensive line prospect is Andrew Crummey, who was out with a broken fibula. Their overall offensive quality as rated by FEI is 68, 40, 92 and 86, respectively. The corollary is that against top competition, Balmer did little. Not that he faced many top offenses, UNC's only other opponent to crack the top 50, South Florida, 36, rolled up the Tar Heels for 26 first downs, 194 rushing yards and 37 points.

So, defensive tackle is not a pressing need for Seattle, Kentwan Balmer does not fulfill Seattle's greatest need at defensive tackle, the 3 tech, Balmer was a longtime underachiever whose breakout senior campaign is very much overstated, AND he has character concerns. He's not only never going to be a Seahawk, he's not much of a prospect, either.