Stars may be aligned for Seahawks to sit this draft out

I just today made a comment regarding what the Seattle Seahawks should consider doing for the 2011 NFL Draft. The question regarded what position they should focus on, but at pick 25 there's just so many different routes you could go becaus you don't know who is going to be available. Good luck trying to mock the Seahawks pick by that point.

No, what I really think they should do is move down or out of the first round. They could pick up additional picks later, but I think the most important thing they could do is grab a 2012 first round pick. Recently, a move like that has landed us Earl Thomas. There's only a small chance that you could wind up with a worse draft selection the following year since the Hawks are already picking 25th, so there's only so much further down you could go. Even still, I believe the extra pick would be much more valuable to us next year then it would be to us this year.

Here's why:

1. The Seahawks are a bottom 5 team with a playoff teams pick.

The Hawks went from awful to really, really bad from 2009 to 2010 mostly because they picked up a Pro Bowl-caliber left tackle at #6. When Russell Okung was on the field he was a game changer. Those things can happen, and almost always happen with a premium rookie taken at the top of the draft. They rarely happen with a #25 pick. Over time, a lower 1st round pick can develop into a top flight player, but it rarely happens over night.

If the Hawks really want to draft someone that will help that take a step forward next year, from one of the leagues worst teams to a legitimate winner of the NFC West, then they'll need a game changer. They most likely won't get that at #25. They'll get a key component, but whether that takes a couple of years or if it happens at all, it most likely won't make a huge impact in 2011. So if you aren't going to go from really, really bad to bad based on 1 draft pick, then isn't it worth the risk to not have the pick at all?

What could you be getting at 25? Just as an example, here are the last 10 players chosen at #25:

Tim Tebow

Vontae Davis

Mike Jenkins

Jon Beason

Santonio Holmes

Jason Campbell

Ahmad Carroll

William Joseph

Charles Grant

Freddie Mitchell

It's a mixed bag. Some very good players who paid immediate dividends. Some busts. Could the Hawks use a Jon Beason or a Mike Jenkins next year? Of course. And those players were also flanked by some very good players that paid immediate dividends. Drafted right around those guys are the likes of Chris Johnson and Clay Matthews.

It could happen that we draft a Dez Bryant (healthy version) and immediately have a #1 receiver type threat to play opposite of Mike Williams. Probably just as easy as it could happen if we had that same pick in 2012.

But where does that get us (assuming a full season was played)? Does it get us from 7-9 to 9-7? Does it even get us 1 additional win? Of course, so many factors go into how we change from this season to next, and a #25 pick is just one of those reasons, but if we didn't have that pick, how much would we be hurt by it?

The Seahawks are bad. They need both superstar talent added to each side of the ball, and just better players all over the field in general. One guy at #25 will most likely not add superstar talent for the 2011 season.

#2 - Options.

If the Seahawks stick at 25, what they won't have a lot of, is options. They'll look over their board of remaining players and take the best available one. How broad of a range this is for Schneider and Carroll, I do not know. But given their situation, they most likely won't be moving up in the draft. Without a 3rd round pick, they're low on options in terms of moving around. They would be foolish to trade a 2012 pick to grab additional or better 2011 picks, so they'd most likely be stuck at 25. No visions of Nick Fairley dance in my head. (Unfortunate, because I think he's going to have a Suh like impact next year and at one point during the season thought he could be drafted low enough and the Seahawks picking high enough to get him)

But if they trade out of this years draft and into next years, they will have a lot of options. And if they're looking for a franchise QB (like they should be and most likely will be after next season) then they could have 31 Flavors worth of options.

It is very likely that the Hawks could wind up with a top 10 pick in 2012, given their lack of talent on both sides of the ball and the uncertainty of free agency.

If the Hawks tried to draft a QB this year, they'd most likely be choosing between which player they dislike the least.

Not only is it near impossible to find a real gem of a QB in the late first round (see Jason Campbell and Tim Tebow at 25. Aaron Rodgers a rare exception) but they'll almost always take 2 years to start to come around anyway. No, what's really chic these days is to start a rookie stud at QB, not a rookie project (Jimmy Clausen) The project will fail while the stud might impress.

So why bother drafting for the 2011 season when you can just do that in the 2012 season?

In 2012 the Seahawks could be looking at a class that includes Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, and Landry Jones. If these 3 players were in the 2011 draft class, they might be the first 3 QB's off the board. Luck is almost a certain lock for #1, but even he could be challenged by the other 2. And there's always the possibility another QB or two throw their names in the hat between now and next April.

With two first round picks, and potentially one or both of those being high picks, the Hawks could draft their franchise QB and have him be a REAL franchise QB.

#3. Will there even be a season?

Do you want the Seahawks to draft a project QB and have him sit out a year without any training camp? Without any preseason? Without any season? Have him miss a year of sitting behind a veteran and getting NFL coaching?

Heck, do you want that to happen to any rookie? I won't claim to be an expert on the CBA, but I do know that a lost season is a possibility, and losing a good chunk of the offseason is an almost certainty.

Rookies lose offseason time every year because of contract holdouts. It's also almost never good for them.

Most labor disputes in sports that I've ever heard of have never missed more than 1 season of play. It's highly unlikely that their wouldn't be a 2012 season or that their wouldn't be an agreement before next years round of minicamps. I'd venture to guess that an agreeement will be made sometime after the regular season was supposed to start and the NFL will have something like a 10-12 game season and then resume as normal. How that affects free agency and the draft remains to be seen, but most likely I would think that a player drafted next year could resume his NFL career like most any other rookie.

I'm not so sure that will happen this year.

#4. Carroll and Schneider have thus far shown a talent for finding cheap and under-utilized players through free agency and trades.

There is less of a need in the draft when you can find players on the cheap that are already in (or in the case of Mike Williams "out") the NFL.

Chris Clemons, Raheem Brock, Williams, Leon Washington, and Kentwam Balmer as a few key examples. This roster will turn over again and Pete and John will continue to load it with players that fit the system. It won't necessarily have to come from the draft this season. They could just as easily see what happens with the CBA and find the players that slip through the system once free agency actually does begin.

And most likely, they will have money to spend. One report said that the Hawks were going to be very interested in Logan Mankins, and he wasn't going to come cheap. The Hawks are ready to spend and can get better without a pick of uncertainty.

This post has probably dragged on long enough already, but I'll conclude it by saying that the Hawks could go in a lot of directions and perhaps I am stating the obvious. Maybe it was already clear to everyone that the Hawks probably have no business in this years draft and should look forward to 2012 when they could actually get the franchise player they need. And maybe no GM and no team will be interested in moving into the #25 pick at a cost of a first rounder next year.

But I just wanted to lay out a few key points on why I think that overall, the 2011 season is already lost in some ways. While the NFC West will most likely still be ripe for the picking in 2011, and will most likely be much improved by 2012 with the Rams and Niners already looking like upstart teams, its even more of a reason for this team to find its own Sam Bradford. I can't imagine that kind of a player being available with our pick in 2011. But if we had 2 first rounders in 2012, we might just have something to look forward to.