I just wanted to use the words fungibility and morass, so that's why I wrote this article.
Here's my take on the Hawks' first couple picks, and although he probably doesn't share my enthusiasm for these selections, I agree with his articulate summation when Rob Staton over at SDB said that essentially the Hawks are making the best out of a bad situation. Normally, a team that is 7-9 is not drafting at the end of each round. If it weren't for a terrible NFC West division gifting us a playoff berth, we'd have had the proverbial pick of the litter in the first round when it came to potential franchise QBs, shutdown corners, all world defensive tackles, super human edge rushers etc etc and so forth and that would continue into each round.
This is how the NFL works - the crappy teams get to pick first so they can have the best players available in order to get them into the position to be the better teams. It just so happens we're a marginally crappy team that got to pick at the end of each round because we wandered into the playoffs after going through the wrong door but then decided we liked it and stayed for a while. I'm not tying to be a downer here, but the fact of the matter is we had a bit of a Cinderella situation last year and we're dealing with the consequences of it now. The Seahawks are the football team version of The Hangover - we partied last night (2010/beastquake), got roofied, went to the strip club (Chicago), and we just woke up in jail on a public urination and indecent exposure rap and now we can't find our friend. I've seen it a million times. Fact of the matter is, we just have to dust ourselves off, take some penicillin, and move forward knowing we had fun but now we're looking for our car and we just got a tattoo of the Captain Morgan logo on our chest.
What the hell am I talking about. Oh yeah - so basically what I'm getting at is that we're now in a position where we have to accept the predicament we're in: We're a 7-9 team that inherited the Final-8 rule of free agency, a tougher schedule, and lower picks in each round of the draft. Last year's run was worth it, but now we're going to have to be patient to get back to the promised land. Taking an offensive tackle with our first pick was not very glitzy or sexy but it helps to solve our offensive line problems, something we've been complaining about for years.
The James Carpenter and John Moffitt picks don't constitute face-of-the-franchise selections, but they are solid in that they put us on the right track to getting back to where we want to be. Solid line play means better rushing ability. Better rushing ability means less pressure on the QB. Less pressure on the QB gives him time to go through progressions and complete a pass. Completed passes mean more first downs which in turn keeps the defense off the field longer, helping their success. We don't have an all world QB right now but when we get one it will help to have a line to protect him. There is no guaranteed formula that ensures a championship team.
If there was a magical formula, everyone would do the exact same thing. Furthermore, every single player is different and every single team that has won the Super Bowl has a different team character and make-up from the last.
The idea that you can plug in a good player somewhere and hope for the same exact results he had elsewhere is a fallacy. Key players for a championship team aren't fungible, but every team that wins it all does so with the use of the aggregation of elite players at multiple positions. One team might win because of great safety play. Some might win because of their defensive line. Others are led by their running backs and wide receivers. Quarterbacks are extremely important but there are several types of elite QBs that get the job done one way or another and they could fail if their receivers have rocks for hands or if they run the wrong routes. An elite offensive line never hurt a team.
This parity is why we all love the NFL so much. Because "ANY GIVEN SUNDAY..."
James Carpenter and John Moffitt are just two little pieces of the championship puzzle. We could argue all day over these selections but they've already been made. I'm just sitting here enjoying the process and I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow. I'll be keeping in mind that one pick doesn't make or break the whole process: each player is a possible boom or bust for the Seahawks and the same could be said for every single selection made. There are many pieces that need to be in place for a team to succeed. Like I said the other day, a championship team is usually made up of an elite quarterback with a cadre of elite talent around him. We may not have that QB yet, but regardless we're building up the cadre so when we find that guy, things could start to click.
You can prioritize a quarterback first and foremost but that's not an excuse to reach for a guy you don't think has it in him. I'm fairly certain at some point in the process, a quality control coach on the Hawks made a laminated list of the Hawks' current roster for John and Pete to peruse, so I think the Hawks' front office is aware that Charlie Whitehurst is the only QB on the roster. This Draft was not and is not the final option the Hawks have in getting that integral piece in place and we're just going to have to wait and see how it all plays out. Whether they take a flyer on a QB in round two or three or wait until free agency kicks in to sign or trade for one, we won't know until it happens.
In the meantime, keep calm and carry on, I'm sure there is a plan in place.