In an article this week looking at potential teams picking number 1 next draft, I speculated that the Seattle Seahawks were in transition. The Star defender of the team, with the exception of the linebackers, have all moved on or retired, on top of Earl Thomas holding out for a new deal or a trade. The receiving corp is pretty much Doug Baldwin and then the rest, and the running backs are looking at some young players with fine potential hoping someone breaks out.
So how did they get here? They won the Superbowl just 5 years ago, appeared in the big game the following year in 2014, and just 4 short years later the team is in discussions for having the worst record.
Every draft season Seahawks fans raise an eyebrow at the Seahawks picks, they appear out of sync with the popular view, mainly from the 100’s of mock drafts out there, not just in terms of how early players are picked but also need. Players like James Carpenter, Bruce Irvin, Paul Richardson and Christine Michael were drafted high in the face of what the populous think. I will concede very easily that John Schneider and Pete Carroll are far more qualified to make the judgement on who and when to draft than the average armchair ‘mocker’, but is the evidence in their favor? Should we really #trustinPCJS as the fan base suggests?
The four Seahawks draft classes for the years 2013 to 2016 look like this;
2 RB Christine Michael – Now Colts RB4 (ish)
3 DT Jordan Hill – Free Agent
4 WR Chris Harper – Out of the League since 2015
5 DT Jesse Williams – Out of the League since 2015, first Australian to win a Superbowl ring though never played a snap.
5 CB Tharold Simon – Free Agent
5 TE Luke Willson – Now in Detroit
6 RB Spencer Ware – Playing a good role for the Kansas City Chiefs
7 G Ryan Seymour – Out of the League
7 DE Ty Powell – Out of the League
7 DT Jared Smith – Out of the League
7 T Michael Bowie – Free agent.
2 WR Paul Richardson – Now in Washington
2 T Justin Britt – After some indifferent seasons at tackle and guard, now the starting center.
4 DE Cassius Marsh – Now a 49er via the Patriots
4 WR Kevin Norwood – Free Agent
4 LB Kevin Pierre-Louis – Currently a Jet, on the roster bubble
5 DT Jimmy Staten – Free Agent
6 T Garrett Scott – Free Agent
6 S Eric Pinkins – Currently in Dallas
7 RB Kiero Small – Out of the League since 2015
2 DE Frank Clark – Starting defensive end
3 WR Tyler Lockett – wide receiver 2
4 G Terry Poole – Free Agent
4 G Mark Glowinski – Now with the Colts
5 CB Tye Smith – Hoping for a roster spot with the Titans
6 DE Obum Gwacham – With the Jets
6 DT Kristjan Sokoli – Now with the Giants
7 DB Ryan Murphy – Out of the League
1 T Germain Ifedi – I’ll say it like many are, Ifedi is a bust.
2 DT Jarran Reed – current starting defensive tackle
3 RB C. J. Prosise – Currently in and out of the trainer’s room in Seattle
3 TE Nick Vannett – Still with the Seahawks but limited time on the field
3 G Rees Odhiambo – Looking like a possible cut this summer.
5 DT Quinton Jefferson – a rotational lineman, fighting with Jags fans his highlight.
5 RB Alex Collins – Looking like an RB1 with the Ravens.
6 C Joey Hunt – Fighting for a place on the roster.
7 WR Kenny Lawler – Free Agent
7 RB Zac Brooks – Out of the League
Your first glance will show that out of the drafts 2013 and 2014, only 1 player remains from 20 picks, add in 2015 and you have 3 players remaining out of 28. If you need to reload a roster having paid top dollar to some Superbowl winning stars 3 players from the following 3 drafts was not the way to do it.
Let’s look a little closer; in 2015 the team drafted back to back offensive linemen, a huge need for years for the Seahawks so somewhat justified. My main issue with the picks is that Poole was projected as a 6/7th round pick and taken before the much more fancied Shaq Mason. Mason has gone on to be a 3 year starter in New England and looks one of the best run blocking guards in the league. Glowinski was taken 3 picks ahead of the, again much more notable Grady Jarrett, who of course is now a fantastic defensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons. All hindsight of course, there is no way anyone can guess how late 4th round picks will turn out, but my twitter feed was crying out for both these alternate players, and they were right. What were fans seeing that the Seahawks did not?
2016 saw the Seahawks try to fix the offensive line again, by taking Germain Ifedi in the first round, a pick that while a probable bust, was required and at the time thought to be a good selection. Jarran Reed also, picked in the 2nd round and around the predicted value seems to be a good selection. The issue here lies in the 3 – YES! 3! – running backs taken in the 10 selections. Perhaps struggling from the loss of Marshawn Lynch these picks have a smell of ‘throw as much $h1t at the wall and see what sticks’ about them. I would argue that not one of them succeeded, although Prosise is still on the roster and has flashed potential, and Alex Collins has been a success in Baltimore, we still managed to misjudge the situation.
I can’t and won’t judge this year’s draft class, nor will I closely examine 2017, though it does look to have mixed results already, with early 2nd round pick Malik McDowell all but retired without playing a snap, receiver Amari Darboh does not look like the future, better results appear to have come from Shaquill Griffin, Nazir Jones, and guard Ethan Pocic, and Thompson and Hill are also showing flashes of potential in camp.
It’s a big year for Schneider and Carroll, after some incredible success early on, could they now be closer to the exit than you might think?
Lastly, I’ve given out some stick here to 2 very talent NFL bosses, I’ve been a quite unkind, though the concern is genuine. In return I will give you some of the hits and misses of players I have wanted them to draft in the last few years.
2011 – Gabe Carimi
2012 – David De Castro
2013 – DJ Fluker, Blidi Wreh-Wilson
2014 – Joel Bitonio, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Gabe Jackson, Will Sutton, Aaron Murray
2015 – Laken Tomlinson, AJ Cann, Tyler Lockett, Bryce Petty, Shaq Mason, Christian Covington
2016 – Ryan Kelly, Cody Whitehair, James Bradberry, Graham Glasgow
2017 – Evan Engram, Forrest Lamp, Dalvin Tomlinson, Jordan Willis, Ryan Switzer
More busts than the Cleveland Brown I think you will agree!!
Picture from Seattletimes.com