As years go, 2020 needs no commentary. But as NFL offseasons go, it really was relatively normal all things considered. A draft happened, and nobody even traded four years of success to move up one spot for a now-benched QB. Players signed, others didn’t. Everyone talked about Jadeveon Clowney.
Pretty standard stuff around here. Ok, I take it back, the Green Bay Packers selection of QB Jordan Love brought some joy to the weekend.
After four weeks, I feel confident that John Schneider had another successful offseason, excelling in two out of three categories. I also feel confident that he had one of the worst years in that last category for a number of reasons. Here we go.
It’s probably best that we include a bit of 2019, as rookie impact on today’s NFL is rare these days. This arena takes some time to bloom, as displayed by none other than our first target.
DK Metcalf - A+
Metcalf was very good as a rookie, all the way to his first big stage in the playoffs against the Philadelphia Eagles. Now he’s phenomenal. Most of us have seen this by now, and he’s atop the charts with 10 less receptions:
We've got a close race to the top for these receivers! ♂️ pic.twitter.com/giNg5JMFbm— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 7, 2020
What’s especially encouraging about 2019 is it seems like Schneider may have finally hit on the first three selections. L.J. Collier is wildly improved over last year (if he was even on the team, I’m not convinced) and quietly making important plays. Marquise Blair had fully earned starting Nickel/CB3 before being injured. The staff had every confidence this was a big year for Blair. Round that off with Ugo Amadi, who seamlessly took Blair’s place, and we’re looking at four starters with average-to-above average starting potential in this league. Add in two special team linebackers and whatever Travis Homer is, and this was a very successful draft.
This year brought us two injured top picks and resurgent frustration at the front of the draft. Damien Lewis, Alton Robinson, and Freddie Swain are the guys to watch here. All at positions of need (possibly not Swain). All with impact plays in the first three weeks of the season. Lewis is a guaranteed starter and may end the year as the second best athlete on the line. Robinson will continually force the staff to make playtime decisions, and Swain seems like a lock for one important catch per game. DeeJay Dallas remains the lower-half X-factor as fans are clamoring for him to take Homer’s role already. As early as this is, this draft is far from a failure.
Consensus: 2019-20 feels like the draft momentum back on track and should produce more than two trustworthy contributors for a few years (No offense, 2015-2018).
Jamal Adams - A+ (probably)
Obviously the injury is a huge bummer, but the dude just does not stop. He’s almost worth the draft capital in energy and motivation, and his impact on the line of scrimmage is tremendous. When possibly nobody on the front four can run Cam Newton down, he can.
I’m still fully convinced late in the season his presence will be even more valuable.
Quinton Dunbar - Solid
Again, these injuries this year. But, he recorded the first true cornerback interception before getting knocked out. His ability to keep Tre Flowers off the field is worth the price alone. Hope he’s able to return for this game against the Minnesota Vikings. Dunbar was great last season and looked like a valuable addition in the first two weeks - he was only giving up a 75.9 rating when targeted before his injury.
Consensus: I mean, John’s among the elite of the NFL here, and has been for years.
This is where John Schneider fared poorly. Really poorly. Not necessarily for talent, though some of that. But the decision making and dollars given and positions acquired was....questionable. Still is.
B.J. Finney - F
Not only has he not played, but at this point why would he? Seattle gave Finney a two-year, $8 million contract. However, the positional decision-making is the problem here and with most of the acquisitions. Ethan Pocic looks good at center. You know what he was in college? A center. For LSU, who tends to find good linemen. Like, say, new hero Damien Lewis. What did the Seahawks try Pocic as for three years? Guard. “Always compete” should not result in a $4 million backup to encourage Pocic to play the position he actually graded well at in college and it makes no sense.
Greg Olsen - C or less
I have a problem with the Greg Olsen signing. It was one of the first things the Seahawks did, way back in mid-February. The market had not actualized yet, and he’s overpaid. The main issue here however is the same as Finney. Seattle has a guy, and he’s good.
Here’s Greg Olsen (top) this year and Will Dissly (below, last year) to start the season.
The numbers are extremely comparable; slightly in favor of Dissly. Russell Wilson’s not even using Olsen as often or as downfield as he used Dissly. Who, I might add, is almost free. Now he’s hardly part of the game plan. Olsen’s had one game at 10 ypc, while Dissly hit that in four out of five games in 2019. I simply can’t defend that an experienced tight end was so important to Wilson’s ninth season that it justified that contract and the stunted development of an intriguing draft in Dissly.
Phillip Dorsett - F
This team doesn’t need a third receiver, and if they do, it’s David Moore. Plus, apparently Dorsett came here with a lingering foot injury?? Can we take his money and give it back to Moore, please?
Bruce Irvin - A for the player, D for the decision
There’s no possible way that Irvin was significant enough of a pass-rush upgrade over Collier, Robinson, and Benson Mayowa to necessitate this move. If for some reason his presence on the team is why Robinson was a two-week inactive, it further demonstrates the positional backup ineptitude of this offseason. It seems like all this move did was take the team out of the running for Everson Griffen.
Carlos Hyde - probably a good move(?)
The running back health situation was a true nightmare heading into this year, so this position is actually justified. However, now Carson’s been playing and Hyde’s not, which is just hilarious.
Consensus: bad, but fortunately at this point Olsen is the only one ahead of a promising young player on the depth chart. These moves could have stunted development, but now they’re just frustrating.
Two out of three is not bad. It looks like there’s potential for two decent draft classes in a row, and we haven’t even seen the top two picks from this year yet. Schneider’s also made three good trades at positions of need in Dunbar, Adams, and Quandre Diggs. The Seahawks continue to be frustrating beyond reason when the free agent dominoes start falling, but the Hawks are 4-0, and they’re getting plenty of help from the young guys.