Editor's note: Another installment of open mic, this time, it's HawkfaninMT's look at the draft and the Seahawks roster.
I love draft time! Draft time for me is when I finally turn the page on the previous season. Whether that be winning the Super Bowl against the hated Denver Broncos, or that other thing that happened.
I have some general observations about the Seahawks and how they draft that I would like to share and get your input. Pete Carroll and John Schneider have been notorious for being unpredictable. But I feel as though they have dropped some clues as to how they set up their draft board, and what types of players they tend to go after.
Before we get into the predictors and indicators, the largest side of it is the mentality and psychology of competition and willingness to put the work in to win. Win Forever, All In, etc… Pete Carroll’s life philosophy that a prospect needs to convince Coach Carroll they will buy into in order to even be on the board.
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First is how they set up their draft board and how they grade talent. From what I have gleaned is that they compare draft prospects to the impact they can have on the current roster. Of course their grades, on their own players vary differently from mine, to Greggs', to Duke’s to yanks, and that is what makes the draft so much fun to me. Below I have listed what I feel like would be the opening day roster if the Season started this Sunday. Where could the Seahawks draft to improve roster areas? WR, OL, and DT stuck out to me as I created this depth chart.
QBs (2): Russell Wilson, BJ Daniels
RBs (5): Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Derrick Coleman, Will Tukuafo
WR (6): Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Ricardo Lockette, Kevin Norwood, Chris Matthews, Douglas McNeil
TE (3): Jimmy Graham, Luke Willson
OL (9): Russell Okung, Alvin Bailey, Patrick Lewis, JR Sweezey, Justin Britt, Gary Gilliam, Nate Isles, Justin Renfrow, CJ Davis
DL (10): Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Jordan Hill, Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel, Ahtyba Rubin, Demarcus Dobbs, Jesse Williams, Jimmy Staten, Cassius Marsh
LB (6): Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright, Bruce Irvin, KPL, Brock Coyle, Mike Morgan
CBs (5): Richard Sherman, Cary Williams, Tharold Simon, Marcus Burley, Will Blackmon
S (4): Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Dion Bailey, DeShawn Shead
ST (3): Clint Gresham, Jon Ryan, Steven Haushka
A second aspect they grade is athleticism, or field tilting ability. This term “Field Tilting” is a term that rose to prominence when Percy Harvin came in to the fold. Field tilting can mean several things. To me it means the player affects how the opposition plans their game. This could be a wide receiver that draws double coverage, a versatile DL that can line up at several positions, a return man that can flip field position, or a DB with a proclivity to produce turnovers. One of the best indicators of athleticism is a player’s Sparq score. Sparq scores for players can be found here: http://3sigmaathlete.com/. I do not feel like the Seahawks choose players based on their Sparq scores, but outliers tend to attract Coach Carroll. Christine Michael, KPL, and Jimmy Staten are strong examples. When looking through the Sparq scores remember that a 50 is an average NFL player.
A third aspect of their evaluation is the impact on the current team going forward. Is there a player the team expects to move along in the next couple years, whether by retirement or free agency? An example of this to me is the decision to trade up and draft Tharold Simon with the expectation that Byron Maxwell may move on. I feel like they draft Christine Michael in part for the same reason with regards to Marshawn Lynch. Could Jordan Hill’s selection been foreshadowing the expectation that Brandon Mebane will be moving on? To make an attempt to predict the draft, looking at what players may not be on the roster in two years is a decent place to look at possible choices.
The final predictor that I have come up with is versatility. PC/JS have shown that versatility is valued on this team. Whether that versatility is a FB that can double as a DT, or a college wide receiver that can come in and play cornerback, versatility is valued. Coach Cable has shown an extreme willingness to be creative with players that show they can come in and play a different position, or are willing to learn a new position. Sweezy, and Staton are examples of DTs that he converted to guards. Cable has a long history of moving guards to centers, and tackles to guard as well.
What are some other predictors or indicators you have all noticed? Given the above guidelines, who are some of you draft favorites?