It's not all bad folks. I wanted to follow up with the Kiper-blasting by pointing out that not EVERYONE in the national media believe that the Hawks tripped on their Dick Shermans in this draft. Two notable protagonists? Evan Silva of Rotoworld and Rob Rang of CBS Sports.
First, to be completely clear - I'm not one to really believe what anyone says about a team's draft grade, whether it's positive or negative. The fact of the matter is that you're still grading a team's haul on how highly you rate a player's PROSPECT of succeeding. So you take a subjective look at how good you think a player will be and then group it together and determine subjectively how effective all those players will be in aggregate for a team and then give them a rather vague and ambiguous letter grade.
Gregg Rosenthal said it perfectly when he wrote on his twitter account yesterday:
Best tip for draft graders: If you've heard a lot of a team's picks, give them good grade. If not, bad grade.
Now, with that said, I thought I'd cover all my bases and show you the other side of the pendulum with some guys that think the Hawks did a pretty good job this year, if only so you're not as depressed about this draft. You have to weigh the negative reports and then look at the positive ones and take what you will from what the experts say and make your own opinion. I found myself being pretty frustrated after reading Kiper's report but these allayed my fears a bit that it was a national consensus of opinion.
Here's what Evan Silva had to say:
Overview: Seattle made an effort to get more physical in the trenches, and came away successful. Carpenter and Moffitt are all-out brawlers and could both start in season one. Don't believe what you read elsewhere: Carpenter was NOT a reach. For some reason, Wright flew under the pre-draft radar. He is a high-impact player who, at the very least, will be an imposing special teamer. Maxwell was one of the top gunners in college football, while Durham, Sherman, and Smith all add impressive speed to the roster. LeGree was the premier ballhawk in the draft.
And here's what Rob Rang thought of the haul:
Seattle Seahawks: B
The Seahawks clearly have a plan in place for a quarterback, as they did not take one despite having nine draft picks. That plan might be to re-sign Matt Hasselbeck, find another veteran or simply run with Charlie Whitehurst, the passer they added through trade last year. What Seattle didn't get at quarterback, they certainly added in toughness up front, taking Alabama offensive tackle James Carpenter and Wisconsin guard John Moffitt in the first and third rounds. Per Football Outsiders' stats, the Seahawks gained nothing or lost yardage on a staggering 26 percent of their runs last season. Clearly, Pete Carroll and John Schneider's focus was on improving the running game. The selection of Mississippi State outside linebacker K.J. Wright and Georgia wideout Kris Durham were surprises, given the similar talents of players already on their roster. Of Seattle's seven day three selections, improving the secondary was an obvious focus as the team used three consecutive picks on Stanford cornerback Richard Sherman, Appalachian State free safety Mark LeGree and Clemson cornerback Byron Maxwell. I'm particularly high on the LeGree, a three-time All-American who could surprise as a future starter.
So now chew on that, digest it, compare it to what you ate in Kiper's kitchen. You may find yourself coming out somewhere in the middle. That's basically what I did, and about a 'B-' grade the next day still holds up in my mind. It could easily become an A++ in a year or two though, so that's what I'll hope for.