An awful lot of people in media do little but repeat one of the two or three opinions anyone is legally allowed to have about any given subject. There are not two sides, or two perspectives, or two solutions to a problem but many, millions even, and surely dozens of value. If you find yourself always of one of two possible opinions, you may have unwittingly been enveloped into some kind of hive mind. Fair warning.
It seems to me the latest surely false bit of propagandistic detritus to be floated in the Seahawks community is that Seattle “has a lot of the pieces to contend.”
Today I offer a very easy and maybe fun way to prove that’s horseshit.
Let’s conduct a fantasy draft. A simple snake draft which allocates one-by-one the players from the 2013 and 2021 rosters to either Team A or Team B. There aren’t really any rules, except that we’re only picking starters, and I do not intend to game the system. Once one quarterback is selected, the other loses all relative value, in that it is assumed they must be drafted by the other team. But in the spirit of making a point rather than running game on myself, I won’t do that. I will select 2021 Russell Wilson where I think he deserves to be selected. Other than that, I’m looking to add the best players weighted for value and scarcity of position. Injured, inaccurate, no-scrambling Wilson will still go high, just not second overall.
Here we go.
Pick 1 - Team A
2013 Russell Wilson
Even back then Wilson was awfully boom or bust, but he was a nigh-indestructible matchup nightmare who could pass, run or scramble.
Pick 2 - Team B
2013 Richard Sherman
The best defender at the most valuable position, this one’s easy. Seattle was the best team in football at defending passes to the right, and 4th at defending passes to number 1 receivers.
Pick 3 - Team B
2013 Earl Thomas
So good I’m sure some would place him ahead of Sherman—Seattle had the best defense against deep passes in the NFL. Some of that was scheme. Some of that was Sherm. But no one was better at playing center field than young ET. I miss this dude. Godspeed, Mr Thomas.
Pick 4 - Team A
2013 Bobby Wagner
The name hadn’t caught up to the game yet, but young Wagner was phenomenal. Seattle had the best coverage on backs in the NFL, and the third best coverage of tight ends. Wagner was not yet the savant he’d become as a run defender, but his youth made him better in coverage and better as a blitzer. Five sacks from a middle linebacker ain’t no shit.
Pick 5 - Team A
2013 Marshawn Lynch
This will probably be the most controversial pick so far. Lynch is a back, and he wasn’t a great receiver, but the stress he put on opposing defenses made life much easier for Wilson. It’s easy to forget that Wilson wasn’t throwing to a particularly great group of receivers in 2013. No, wait, it’s impossible to forget that. But Doug Baldwin’s wounded pride or the jingoistic fervor of Seahawks fans doesn’t really change the fact that Seattle had a good group of slot and no. 2 types. Maybe it was an error of judgment, but opposing defenses schemed to shutdown Seattle’s run game. Lynch was why.
Pick 6 - Team B
2021 Russell Wilson
He was mediocre, he was hurt, after he rushed back before he was healthy, he was worse than mediocre, but he’s a quarterback. Wilson was good in stretches—especially once the run game returned. He still has greatness in him but he needs to grow, and he needs help. I keep thinking about Elway at this point in his career. He knew, and ownership knew, he was the one irreplaceable piece and needed to be built around.
Pick 7 - Team B
2013 Michael Bennett
Some’ll pick Cliff Avril because of his superior ability to turn the corner, but I prefer Bennett’s versatility, consistent pressure and value as a run defender. Dude was special. Dude only started two games for the 2013 Seahawks.
Pick 8 - Team A
2013 Kam Chancellor
My heart tells me Kam deserves to be even higher on this list. The mensch, the enforcer, the living embodiment of the Legion’s smarts, skill and ability to intimidate, Kam’s injury always seemed to me the surest sign that the best years were over. Chancellor deserves some of the credit for Seattle’s suffocating defense of backs and tight ends. If he weren’t a strong safety, he’d be higher.
Pick 9 - Team A
2013 Cliff Avril
Another part-time dude who was just so damn good at such an important position that being part-time doesn’t really matter. Six forced fumbles is an awesome feat. Avril had a knack for getting blindside rush impact out of a frontside rush.
Pick 10 - Team B
2021 DK Metcalf
Not all would agree that Metcalf’s the best receiver on his team. But I think he’s the greater matchup problem, and he certainly has the rarer skill set. Many will hate me double when I take Baldwin over Lockett.
Probably I’ve made my point, but here’s how I would end it.
Pick 11 - Team B
2013 KJ Wright
Pick 12 - Team A
2013 Max Unger
Pick 13 - Team A
2021 Duane Brown
Brown looked shitty this year, but he’s a left tackle and Russell Okung missed half the season in 2013.
Pick 14 - Team B
2013 Doug Baldwin
Pick 15 - Team B
2013 Russell Okung
Pick 16 - Team A
2021 Tyler Lockett
Crazy low, I get that. And probably wrong too, but I credit a ton of Lockett’s success to Wilson’s rare ability to maximize his wide receivers.
Pick 17 - Team A
2021 Quandre Diggs
Pick 18 - Team B
2013 Brandon Mebane
Pick 19 - Team B
2021 Bobby Wagner
Pick 20 - Team A
2013 Golden Tate
Pick 21 - Team A
2021 Carlos Dunlap
Pick 22 - Team B
2021 Darrell Taylor
Pick 23 - Team B
2021 Gabe Jackson
Pick 24 - Team A
2013 Brandon Browner/Byron Maxwell
Combined for 5 picks and 22 passes defended.
Pick 25 - Team A
2013 Tony McDaniel
Pick 26 - Team B
2021 Poona Ford
Pick 27 - Team B
2021 Ethan Pocic
Pick 28 - Team A
2021 Al Woods
Pick 29 - Team A
2013 Paul McQuistan
Pick 30 - Team B
2021 DJ Reed
Pick 31 - Team B
2021 Jamal Adams
Pick 32 - Team A
2021 Damien Lewis
Pick 33 - Team A
2013 Zach Miller
Pick 34 - Team B
2013 Jordyn Brooks
Pick 35 - Team B
2021 Will Dissly
Pick 36 - Team A
2013 Luke Willson
Pick 37 - Team A
2021 Brandon Shell
Pick 38 - Team B
2013 Rashaad Penny
Pick 39 - Team B
2013 JR Sweezy
Pick 40 - Team A
2021 Sidney Jones/Tre Brown
Pick 41 - Team A
2013 Malcolm Smith
Pick 42 - Team B
2013 Sidney Rice/Jermaine Kearse
Pick 43 - Team B
2013 Breno Giacomini/Michael Bowie
Pick 44 - Team A
2021 Ugo Amadi
Team A Roster
|Team A Offense||Team A Defense|
|Team A Offense||Team A Defense|
|2013 Russell Wilson||2021 Carlos Dunlap|
|2013 Marshawn Lynch||2013 Tony McDaniel|
|2021 Tyler Lockett||2021 Al Woods|
|2013 Golden Tate||2013 Cliff Avril|
|2013 Zach Miller||2013 Malcolm Smith|
|2013 Luke Willson||2013 Bobby Wagner|
|2021 Duane Brown||2013 Kam Chancellor|
|2013 Paul McQuistan||2021 Quandre Diggs|
|2013 Max Unger||2021 Brandon Browner/Byron Maxwell|
|2021 Damien Lewis||2021 Tre Brown/Sidney Jones|
|2021 Brandon Shell||2021 Ugo Amadi|
Team B Roster
|Team B Offense||Team B Defense|
|Team B Offense||Team B Defense|
|2021 Russell Wilson||2013 Michael Bennett|
|2021 Rashaad Penny||2013 Brandon Mebane|
|2021 DK Metcalf||2021 Poona Ford|
|2013 Doug Baldwin||2021 Darrell Taylor|
|2013 Sidney Rice/Jermaine Kearse||2013 KJ Wright|
|2021 Will Dissly||2021 Jordyn Brooks|
|2013 Russell Okung||2021 Bobby Wagner|
|2013 JR Sweezy||2021 Jamal Adams|
|2021 Ethan Pocic||2013 Earl Thomas|
|2021 Gabe Jackson||2021 DJ Reed|
|2013 Breno Giacomini/Michael Bowie||2013 Richard Sherman|
Evaluation of individual players is a messy business, and if you disagree with any pick, I don’t blame you. But I don’t think I’m too far off. Which means we can look at this in tiers.
Top 10 Guys
Very Good Guys 11-20
The 2013 Seahawks also have the better reserves. Not included above were Chris Clemons, Clinton McDonald, Red Bryant, Ricardo Lockette, Michael Robinson, Derrick Coleman, Walter Thurmond, and Bruce Irvin. The only 2021 Seahawks that I think deserve special mention are Rasheem Green, who should maybe take Darrell Taylor’s spot, Ryan Neal, and Nick Bellore. Taylor seemed the better fit with the better upside, but I still like Green’s potential.
The point isn’t to bum anybody out. The point is only that the Seahawks front office cannot approach this offseason as if it were a few players away from contending. The Seahawks need multiple star players and multiple very good players before they can realistically contend. Seattle isn’t flush with picks. It does have cap space. Maybe a miracle offseason returns this team to contention. But if the Seahawks attempt to engineer a miracle offseason by mortgaging the future, they’re likely building a cellar dweller for years to come.