Getting a boner.
As long as we are ignoring their last-second loss to the Falcons, the Seahawks ended last season on a very high note. For the first half of the year, they were the flawed team that most of us expected them to be,
writhe rife (an emailer pointed out that they probably were not in pain) with potential but too young, inconsistent, and inexperienced to take it to "Super Bowl" levels. In the second half of the year, they were so good that I started to turn from heterosexual to whatever it is when you're attracted to Russell Wilson and only Russell Wilson.
Seattle went 8-2 over their final ten games, including playoffs, while averaging 32.4 points per game. Don't forget that in their first eight games, the Seahawks averaged 17.5 points per game with some people calling for Wilson to be benched in favor of a guy that is starting for the Raiders. The Raiders! (This is unfair to Matt Flynn and also just another pointless stab at the Oakland organization but haha.) Ending on this kind of high note left a lot of people feeling comfortable headed into free agency and the draft; If they stand pat with what they've got, Seattle is still one of the top five teams in the NFL. Which is true. The offense went off to new heights as soon as they started finding new ways to utilize Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, and creating a hard-to-beat running game similar to the style that the 49ers used to beat them in Week 7, and finally coupling the ability to score points with an elite secondary and solid defense meant that we finally had perhaps the best team in football.
But standing pat has been the furthest thing from what Pete Carroll and John Schneider have done over the last three months, and this draft enunciates their concerns with certain areas of the 53-man roster. Concerns? With this team? The "Channing Tatum" of the league? How could it be!
I was surprised by the pick of Christine Michael in the second round. Lynch is only 27, he doesn't appear to be running out of mileage, and he's got three years left on his contract. However, a little reflection started to make it quite obvious that even if it seemed like our biggest needs were at defensive tackle, linebacker, and along the offensive line, while having just drafted Robert Turbin a year earlier, this team knows that one of the most important parts of their functionality is a solid running game. And Michael is a much better prospect as a running back than Turbin is.
- When Seattle went 8-2 over their last ten, Lynch averaged at least 4.20 yards per carry in all but two of those games: 2.42 yards per carry in a loss to the Dolphins, and 2.88 yards per carry in a loss to the Falcons.
- Lynch has carried the ball 600 times in the last two years, and had 651 total touches.
- Lynch starts getting roster bonuses next year and starts becoming a cap casualty savings as well. He should still be effective after 27, but it's also quite likely that each season following will be less effective than the previous.
- It appears that Seattle views Michael as the next Lynch, and could view Turbin as the next Turbin, either by continuously utilizing him as a fresh set of legs as a backup or perhaps as a fullback. If not as a fullback, then Spencer Ware could take over that role, but Michael Robinson appears to be in a fight right now.
- The running game is too important to this football team to find themselves in Week 9 without Lynch for an extended period of time (hypothetical) and then turning to Turbin and Robinson. It's a matter of taking a player that could play a vital role, rather than taking a player that is a little more need-dependent. "We don't need a running back." "Well, not right now we don't." It's like packing a backpack for hiking and having room for one more thing and seeing that you could either put another bottle of water in there or a Highlights magazine.
"Well I have water already but I don't have a Highlights magazine just in case I get bored and want to find the differences."
"Well, we don't need water yet and it's much more vital."
Drafting a skill player should always be more exciting than drafting a defensive tackle or rotational linebacker, but it was almost anticlimactic based on the fact that he's certainly going to be blocked from heavy usage in 2013. However, that's what we should have been expecting all along since this team really didn't need anyone, unless unfortunate circumstances demand that they do need a running back, in which case Michael is going to turn out to be the most important pick of all.
Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M, 62nd overall
Grade: Texas A&A
I must admit that for most of this draft, I am learning about these men along with most fans. I may write for Field Gulls, but I'm just a regular guy like any of you. *sits at a bar* *orders a Heineken* *wears a cowboy hat and boots* I focus my attention mostly on the NFL and not on college football because that's what I write about and because I went to Washington State University, where we stopped playing college football in 2004.
So these grades, like the one you've seen for Michael, are mainly based on what I know about the player currently as I read up on each of them, where they were drafted, and how they fit a need for Seattle. Just keep that in mind, because we've got a lot of great scouts on Field Gulls and I'm the best. Sorry I mean, I'm the best. Damn it. I mean to say that I am not the best, but I'll do my best. (Which is the best.)
Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State, 87th overall
Derek Stephens write-up on Hill highlights an aggressive player on the defensive line that could be a mess to handle over four quarters of football that could wear you down and create pressure on the quarterback, but also one that could struggle against the run. In this case it would appear that Hill would rotate in on apparent passing downs while working on his ability to not get burned on a run.
However another part of Hill's game and reason for a third round selection would seem to be character and leadership qualities. While some may disagree with his stance, part of Jordan Hill's legacy will be that he was one of the first players to support Joe Paterno. Assuming that there won't be any scandals of that magnitude at the VMAC, the coaches know that Hill will always stand by them no matter what the situation. And we mean always. He's also a leader, having been one of the captains during the most difficult season in Penn State history, and rallied the team together after an early defeat.
Jordan Hill the player fell to the third round because in a deep class of defensive tackles, his game has holes. But his character is strong and he should have no problem making the team and is perhaps someone that 2012 pick Jaye Howard should fear will win a job over him.
Grade: penn st-A-te
Chris Harper, WR, Kansas State, 123rd overall
There are usually a lot of intriguing receiver prospects in every draft, because big guys that can run that fast and move their bodies in the air like that are really interesting. Trust me, I did some experimentation in college. (What? It was like sports science, okay. That's what we called it at least.)
So that's why a guy as intriguing as Harper can be the 14th receiver off the board. Even players like Keenan Allen, Marquise Goodwin, and Ace Sanders, players that I knew of mostly because they had certain attributes that were "off the charts, yo" fell into the third and fourth rounds. Or a player like Ryan Swope going into the sixth. Harper is big, physical, fast, and could wrap up the fifth spot on the depth chart this summer with ease.
The fourth round of the draft has given the league several star receivers, like Charlie Joiner, Andre Reed, Yancey Thigpen, Cliff Branch, Brandon Marshall, Derrick Mason, Brandon Lloyd, and John Stallworth. Three of the best of these fourth receivers are in the Hall of Fame: Stallworth, Joiner, and one guy you might know of.
Chris Harper = Steve Largent?
Grade: Hall of A
Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama, 137th overall
Simply put, there was a time when Williams was considered for the Seahawks in the first round of the draft. His knee injury may be so serious that he never gets right and that's why he fell to the fifth round. If it's not a big deal though, he could be one of the main players in the defensive line rotation because all of the measurables are there. Also he grew up in Brisbane, Australia, where I have family ties so hell yeah.
Brisbane Homies 4 Life
Grade: Good "A" Mate
Tharold Simon, CB, LSU, 138th overall
Anyone that's ever been in a few fantasy leagues knows the fun of back-to-back picks.
We are deep into the players picked that have to fight for jobs and nothing is guaranteed. Same goes for even Chris Harper and Williams, even if it comes as a surprise. Simon was described by Derek Stephens as a Brandon Browner-type which makes sense, Seattle needs to plan for the future after Browner. If his character concerns become serious issues, then he won't last into the season. He's got to fight to get ahead of Jeremy Lane, Byron Maxwell, Walter Thurmond, and others. Cornerback is still stacked and with Antoine Winfield, there's not going to be competition for the top three spots.
If Simon does practice hard though, he's got a good chance to jump into the next level behind the top three and there is a need for depth and options after next season. How can you put a price on that?
Luke Willson, TE, Rice, 158th overall
I honestly thought that the Seahawks would take a tight end earlier than this, and even a tight end in a different mold than Willson, but I was just... wrong. So very wrong!
Willson is a physical freak that is 251 pounds and ran a faster 40 than players like Kenjon Barner and Tyrann Mathieu and many others. I think it could be an interesting competition between Willson and possibly Darren Fells to see what physical project could be the third tight end behind Zach Miller and Anthony McCoy, but you never know if they'll have a need at tight end higher than that.
He's a Canadian that also turned down an offer from Washington State. This next Super Bowl run is going to be an international affair! And for that
Spencer Ware, RB, LSU, 194th overall
If Michael came as a surprise, Ware was like a second decoder ring in the Cracker Jack box. In reality though, Michael is going to be preparing for a lead back role in the future, while Ware will try and give the team a reason to save money by releasing Michael Robinson. The same could possibly even be said about Turbin.
We all love Michael Robinson and couldn't imagine not having The Real Rob Report, but this is the ugly side of sports: Giving players "the business."
Ware is a business move. I respect that.
Ryan Seymour, G, Vanderbilt, 220th
The Seahawks needed depth on the offensive line and Seymour could compete to be Max Unger's backup as well. That would be a hell of a get in the seventh round, and continue what they built last year by getting J.R. Sweezy and Greg Scruggs at 225 and 232 respectively. Seymour and Sweezy are now basically best friends and sworn enemies.
Ty Powell, OLB, Harding, 231st
Just like we all predicted: Drafting an outside linebacker at 231!
Jared Smith, DT/G, New Hampshire, 241st
Maybe this is more of the Sweezy comp since Smith is making the same transition that Sweezy did. Even if Sweezy doesn't work out, he's gotten further than most seventh round picks. I have put a lot of faith into Tom Cable now because of how far Sweezy came last summer. Do it again!
Michael Bowie, OT, Northeastern State, 242nd
This is also a player that the Seahawks have drafted. I've spent every waking minute of my life following the career of Michael Bowie. Wait, no, that's David Bowie. I don't know much about Michael except for what Field Gulls and Derek told me!
But if he's anything like David Bowie, he's the steal of the draft. Like stealing babies from Jennifer Connelly's house.
Grade: He's A real steal. Let's dAnce! Dance, bAby, dance, bAby dance!
Let us also not forget that Seattle used their first round pick on one of the most dynamic players in football.
Percy Harvin, WR, Minnesota Vikings/Florida Gators, 25th + change
This is a good move.
Grade: When he comes to Seattle he better bring an umbrella, ella, ella, A A A A A A
Overall I give the Seahawks draft an incomplete. It hasn't even been three days yet. Geez!