Yes, we know that the Seattle Seahawks’ 10 draft picks haven’t even played a down of football. But why bother with that important fact when we can make a rush to judgment in grading this year’s draft class?
And so with that, we take a spin around the national media and their opinions on Seattle’s draft class this year. And as you can imagine, with Seattle making unconventional draft selections like Bruce Irvin in the first round and Russell Wilson in the third, it’s not good.
Seattle experienced the same thing last year when draft experts felt they reached on James Carpenter and John Moffitt.
Here’s what ESPN’s John Clayton has to offer in rating the Seahawks as one of the losers in this year’s draft.
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“When Luke Kuechly went to the Carolina Panthers at No. 9, you knew the Seahawks would bail on the No. 12 pick and trade back. The problem is whom they selected at No. 15. A lot of teams didn't have LB Bruce Irvin in the first round. Some didn't have him in the second round. Pete Carroll felt having Irvin along with an additional fourth- and a sixth-round pick was better than staying at No. 12. The Seahawks would have been better served by continuing to move back and get more picks. If they are right on Irvin and his motor, great. But if they are wrong, they didn't get value back for their trade.”
And ESPN’s Mel Kiper takes it a step further in giving the Seahawks a C-, tied for the lowest grade given a team in the draft. Kiper gave Seattle a D- minus for value. You must be an ESPN Insider to view this. Kiper: “Let's be clear: I think the Seahawks drafted guys they really wanted, and with a plan in mind for how to use them. They moved down once, and may have gotten worried that someone would take Bruce Irvin late in the first round if they didn't get him at No. 15. Again, you have to find the right dance partner to move around the board. But we're still talking about a player I had a late second-round grade on. I wouldn't be surprised if Irvin gets 10 sacks in 2012, but that's really his game. He's not a three-down player yet. Bobby Wagner fills a need at linebacker, but he's another guy who would have been around later on. Russell Wilson is a great test case for shorter QBs, because he has everything else, but did they need him in the third round after grabbing Matt Flynn to come in and likely start? I had running back as a need, and Robert Turbin could help out. The needs were met outside of wide receiver, but in terms of maximizing value, there are huge questions. Again, this is a grade of the draft process, not the players alone.”
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports gives Seattle a C+ grade. Prisco: “They made a questionable move at the top with Irvin, bounced back by taking Wagner, but then took Russell Wilson in the third when they just signed Matt Flynn. Why? They did some good things on the final day, but Irvin is the key.”
Clark Judge of CBS Sports listed Irvin as one of the five biggest gambles in the draft. Judge: “ I have no problem with the Seahawks taking him with the 15th pick ... so long as it was the 15th pick of the second or third rounds. Irvin is strictly one-dimensional, a pass rusher who isn't in starting and isn't interested in playing special teams. He has his own set of baggage that has been dissected over and over, so I'm not going there. Let's just put it this way: I don't know anyone other than the Seahawks who had this guy as the 15th player on their board.”
Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com gives Seattle a C grade overall. Rang: The Seahawks pulled one of the real shockers of the first round with the selection of passing rushing specialist Bruce Irvin at No. 12 overall. At 6-3, 242 pounds, Irvin is too small to be a traditional 4-3 defensive end but in head coach Pete Carroll's scheme, size isn't as important as speed for the right defensive end (or LEO) position and Irvin certainly has that. Drafting a specialist at No. 15 is a stretch but despite boasting a very good defense on first and second down a year ago, Seattle's lack of pass rush has killed them in recent years. Few will call Irvin's pick a reach a year from now if he ranks among the rookie leaders in sacks. Second round pick Bobby Wagner's versatility and reliable open-field tackling skills could earn him a spot in the starting lineup as a rookie.”
Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated believes both Irvin and Wilson were reaches.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com provides the most realistic grades for every team because a game has not been played – incomplete.
Here’s my story from today, focusing on Utah State running back Robert Turbin joining Seattle.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com goes into more detail on the adversity Turbin dealt with growing up in Freemont, Calif.
Dave Boling of The News Tribune writes that Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin can now repay all the sacrifices his family made to get him through school now that he’s in the NFL.
Here’s more on Seahawks sixth round draft pick Northwestern State CB Jeremy Lane from his hometown paper, the Alexandria Town Talk in Louisiana.