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Seahawks, Colts have remarkably similar drafts

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual - Washington v Ohio State Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Seahawks and Colts play each other as often as the presidential election happens but as you and I both know, there has been a burning rivalry between the two fanbases for almost eight years now. The comparison between Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck — sometimes fueled by me, I admit — has generated countless hours of discussion and millions of words on the internet but it ultimately does not matter. Both franchises are happy with what they’ve got, and especially both cities.

Indy fans aren’t trading Luck for Wilson and vice versa for Seattle fans. That’s fine, that’s great, and that’s okay. I think what’s more important (scratch that, because let’s be honest, none of this is important) is how the teams are doing. Last season, the Colts were a wild card that made it to the second round and the Seahawks were a wild card that did not. I’d say the teams came out about even but the real star in Indianapolis for 2018 was maybe not Luck so much as the rookie class.

Quenton Nelson, Darius Leonard, Braden Smith, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins, Kemoko Turay, Matthew Adams, Zaire Franklin, and Tyquan Lewis all played big or small roles last season. Second year GM Chris Ballard won NFL Executive of the Year for his drafting, a title not bestowed upon an Indy exec since Ryan Grigson won it over John Schneider in 2012 when he selected Luck first overall and Schneider found Wilson at 75.

But I think Ballard is already pulling off more savvy and productive moves than Grigson typically did and a Super Bowl championship could finally be in Luck’s future. I also think that Ballard’s third draft is so incredibly similar to Schneider’s 10th that comparison is once again back on the table.

Though Seattle started the week off with four picks total, they’ve already made that many selections on days one and two with five more opportunities set to come on Saturday. These are the players that the Seahawks have added to their 90-man roster:

29. L.J. Collier, DE, TCU

47. Marquise Brown, S, Utah

64. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

88. Cody Barton, LB, Utah

Schneider came into the draft with a lot of needs and only four picks, but while he increased Seattle’s need for pass rush with the trade of Frank Clark, he’s now also turned that trade into an additional five rookies from the 2019 draft — pending more trades. With four of his first nine picks, Schneider has addressed needs at defensive line, secondary, receiver, and linebacker. We’ll see how the next five picks go, but I would think there’s a good chance that Schneider looks to replenish depth at offensive line, tight end, running back, cornerback, or he double dips at receiver and/or defensive line.

There are possibilities ahead, but Schneider almost hit the textbook positions that most expected going into day one, even if the names were mostly unpredictable. I know that Collier and Metcalf had been discussed but then I started looking at the Colts selections and it started to feel more and more like the type of haul that many Seahawks fans had predicted or hoped for themselves.

Here is Ballard’s draft so far:

34. Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple

49. Ben Banogu, DE, TCU

59. Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State

89. Bobby Okereke, LB, Stanford

Also: Ballard also likes to trade down. He moved down from 26 to 46 and picked up a 2020 second round pick from Washington, just like Schneider received from the Chiefs in the Clark deal.

Here we see that just like Seattle, Indy made four picks on days one and two. We also see that all five picks are within five picks of the other team. We also see that both teams drafted one defensive back, one defensive end, one wide receiver, and one linebacker. And that Collier and Banogu played on the same defensive line. That the teams even picked linebackers back-to-back at the end of round three. This is one of the closest comparisons I’ve ever seen between two draft classes, even if it’s only a halfway done draft.

The Seahawks came away with Collier, Blair, Metcalf, and Barton.

The Colts came away with Banogu, Ya-Sin, Campbell, and Okereke.

There’s a very parallel universe where these two classes are switched around. And as we know, with different coaching, in different cities, and playing alongside different teammates against different opponents, these two classes could play very differently for the other side. But given how close they are to compare, I’m going to do it anyway.

The Luck-Wilson debate was more than tired anyhow.


Who has the better WR/DB/LB/DE combo in the 2019 draft?

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