With the 2018 NFL Draft in the books and the Seattle Seahawks well on their way to their OTAs, not too long ago I had finally gotten around to doing some research on what to expect out of the drafted players based on their position and where they were taken in the draft. Then, just as I prepared to author that piece reader Michael Sawyer authored a fanpost that was not simply a great read about the expectations for the youngsters the team added in the draft, it also basically stole the article I was going to write.
For readers who have not been following closely this offseason, I did a series of articles that looked at production for draft picks based on decades of data for all seven rounds based on AV, but Michael went a bit deeper and narrowed it down to position and round of selection. Thus, rather than a greatly researched piece with any kind of data, I’m simply going to ramble on here with my personal feelings on each of the first three players the Hawks selected in the draft.
No place better to start than first round pick Rashaad Penny. Penny put up very impressive numbers in college, but I hate the fact that they used a first round pick on a player from a non-P5 conference. He could easily find success in the NFL, just as several other running backs from non-P5 conferences have, such as DeAngelo Williams (Memphis), Matt Forte (Tulane), Chris Johnson (East Carolina) and LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU) and I will be ecstatic. Or he could end up with a career that looks like that of Donald Brown (UConn) or Doug Martin (Boise State), and I’ll be disappointed.
Last time the Seahawks took a running back in the first round, things turned out pretty well, so I’m just going to hope for the best from Penny and see what happens.
Moving on to third round selection Rasheem Green, I can get behind this pick. He’s got the ability to contribute as a rotational role player early in his career, and with time and effort he can hopefully develop into a larger role. A trajectory much like we’ve seen from Frank Clark over his career, though without Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril blocking his path to playing time, I certainly expect to see Green on the field a lot more during his rookie year than Clark was.
On that note, I do like that the team has put itself in a position where the younger guys will be in a position to show what they have early in their career. The team has had success when they’ve asked younger guys to take on larger roles early in their careers, and Pete’s comments earlier this offseason regarding wishing they had more knowledge of what Amara Darboh and David Moore could do infuriates me. The reason the team doesn’t have more information on Darboh and Moore is because the team didn’t play them. Darboh played 191 snaps as a rookie, but only 45 of those snaps came over the last six weeks of the season. That’s 7.5 snaps per game for a player who was taken in the third round, and while I get that it can take time for players to develop, there’s no better teacher than experience.
Thus, I am wholly expecting the team to once again be loaded with youngsters, but I expect there will be a lot more snaps being played by the young guys compared to seasons past where they have been buried on the depth chart.
In any case, hopefully Pete has the awareness to play him more than he played other players taken on the second day of the draft like Darboh (191 offensive snaps), Nick Vannett (84 offensive snaps), Clark (383 defensive snaps), Christine Michael (26 offensive snaps), Jordan Hill (64 defensive snaps) and Rees Odhiambo (33 offensive snaps) played as rookies. The team brought each of the players in for a reason, they were kept on the 53 for a reason and there is no one to blame but the leadership if the team doesn’t have enough information about players a year or two into their careers.
In short, I hope they let the youngsters play. Sink or swim. If they sink, great, they sank early and didn’t occupy a roster spot for any longer than necessary to figure things out. If they swim, great, we may have ourselves a player. If they sort of tread water but have trouble keeping their head above the surface, well, then we at least have enough information to know what they need to work on going forward and how difficult it should be to address this.
Rees Odhiambo is a perfect example of this. He’s been on the roster for two full seasons, and all we know at this point is that he is most definitely not cut out to be a left tackle. This is something that could have been predicted by looking at his athletic profile. But could he possibly be an NFL level guard? Lots of players have failed at tackle, but gone on to have very successful careers at guard simply because they don’t have the athleticism to play in space like tackles are required to. T.J. Lang is a perfect example of this, as he was drafted to play right tackle, but was so bad at tackle that the Green Bay Packers only used him there when it was absolutely necessary. Now, nine years after being drafted as a tackle, he’s a back to back Pro Bowler as a guard for two different teams. The point is, the team still doesn’t have a whole lot of information on what Odhiambo might be able to bring to the table as a guard despite having been on the roster for two straight seasons.
My apologies for the long winded rant, so let’s go ahead and get back to the actual draft picks. Moving on to the fourth round, the Hawks added tight end Will Dissly to help with the run blocking. I’ve got nothing against Dissly, but this is simply a pick about which I am pretty meh. Not because I don’t think Dissly doesn’t have the potential to be good in the NFL, to the contrary, I strongly believe he has that potential based on his physical and athletic profiles. My meh-ness with this pick is that I’ve heard this song and dance about tight ends drafted by the Seahawks one too many times.
Now, just to make sure we’re all on the same page, I certainly hope Dissly develops as a tight end and becomes not just a perennial Pro Bowler, but an All Pro who is a dominant blocker and a threat in the passing game. However, I’ve simply heard this too many times. In 2016 it was Nick Vannett who was going to be a dominant blocking tight end for the Seahawks. In 2010 it was Anthony McCoy who had that potential. In 2008 it was John Carlson who was going to slip into Holmgren’s offense and be a force in both the running game and the passing game. In 2002 Jerramy Stevens was going to bring his athleticism to the Seahawks and become a dominant force. And let’s not forget Christian Fauria from 1995.
So, you put all that together and since 1995 the Seahawks have drafted eleven different tight ends, and so which Seahawks tight end in team history has accumulated the most AV points during the Seattle portion of their career? Jimmy Graham. For as disappointing as he was for much of his time in the PNW, when Graham left for Green Bay this offseason he left as the all time Seahawks franchise leader in every major receiving category, including yards, receptions and touchdown receptions. And he did it in a whopping 43 games. Now, there is absolutely zero question that his blocking was subpar at best, but that’s how sad the tight end position has been for this franchise. And that’s why it simply a meh pick for me.
Let me tell a story for comparison. A few years ago I needed a phone for work, and I got sold on the LG G2. It wasn’t a bad phone at all - it was powerful, had a large screen and a quality camera. However, the touchscreen stopped working before the phone was ever paid off. Then a few years later I found myself again looking for a work phone. This time around I had a personal phone I loved (HTC One), so I was looking for something super cheap, and the LG Stylo 2 Plus was a fantastic option because it would be inexpensive (less than $100 after bill credits) and yet handle everything I needed. Well, it was a piece of junk and within a matter of months it was no longer working properly on a lot of things, so even though it did what I needed it to do for work most of the time, I swore I’d never be getting another LG phone.
I went to the store to replace the Stylo 2 Plus and when I arrived couldn’t find a phone that had the technical specs I wanted for the performance I like that wasn’t outlandishly expensive. I hate a phone that lags when I push a button, but I’m also so cheap that there’s exactly zero chance that I’m paying the amount of money it requires to purchase one of the high end phones such as one of the newer iPhones or the Samsung Galaxy line.
Thus, with those ruled out, and my favorite manufacturer, HTC, not having a cell phone on the market at that time, the salesperson was pushing the LG G5 hard. I liked its performance as I tested it out, and it was not only on sale, it came with bill credits that would push the price of the phone down into a very palatable $160 range. So, between the price being acceptable and the fact that my girl had an G4 that ran without any issues for a year at that point I caved and bought the G5.
Ten months and three weeks later the phone bricked. I was in the middle of using Twitter, the phone ran some kind of update, and then BOOM. GOTCHA. Now I own yet another LG brand paperweight.
Furthering my frustration was that because I had dropped the phone all of about eighteen inches one time and cracked the screen, the warranty was void, so now I was still paying for a phone I hated that didn’t work. At least this time around I could blame myself, because if I hadn’t dropped the phone the screen wouldn’t have cracked and it would have still been under warranty. Luckily, by this time I no longer needed a second work phone, so I decided to suck it up and go back to using the Stylo 2 Plus with all its malfunctions until such a time as I found a phone I liked.
I dealt with the malfunctions and the crashes until earlier this month when my two year old decided that his mom’s phone had lived long enough and sent it flying across the room and into the wall. Well, now that trusty G4 that had lived a long and healthy life finally needed to be replaced. My girl tells me she’s heading to the store to get a new phone, which is fine by me.
Long story short, she goes to the T-Mobile store and they’re running a two for one special on the LG G6, so all of a sudden I’m the proud owner of a brand new LG G6 for nothing more than the price of sales tax. At first I was livid, until I found out that the second phone was free. Even then I was somewhat perturbed by the fact that I would own yet another LG phone. We’ll see how it goes with this one, but I’m not too optimistic.
What does all that rambling about LG phones have to do with Dissly? In real life, absolutely nothing at all. It’s just the simple fact that I’m so fed up with the Seahawks drafting tight ends and none of them every really amounting to much of anything that them doing so is roughly the equivalent of me getting yet another new LG phone. Basically, I need to see some results before I’m going to get excited about Dissly. I certainly hope that there is reason to be excited, but I’ll be looking elsewhere for my excitement until Mr. Dissly provides reason for me to turn my head.
That seems like a sufficient amount of barely coherent rambling for today, so I’ll look at the back half of the draft in another post. For those who were patient enough to sit through all that rambling, have no fear - I’ll be back to my normal setup later today, which means I’ll be getting back to breaking down the running game one carry at a time. There is going to be a wave of reviews of the rushing game, as I finish up looking at Chris Carson, blow through C.J. Prosise, Mike Davis, Thomas Rawls and J.D. McKissic and get on to looking at some of the passing game in early June.