Rang gives Hawks high marks on draft
Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.con, joined the chorus of national media and draft analysts praising Seattle’s performance in the draft over the weekend.
I had a chance to talk to Rang minutes after the draft to get his assessment on Seattle’s haul, and here is what he had to say.
“When you look at that roster there were a lot of holes,” Rang said. “I still believe that there is a need for a dynamic pass rusher. But otherwise I think that they solidified their roster in all those different, other holes.
“Left tackle certainly had to be the primary need, and they checked that off. And positions like safety, wide receiver, return specialist they filled, and running backs they got addressed through trades. Really, if you had a check list, then you pretty much can put a check mark next to all of those positions.”
Rang said he wasn’t surprised that the Seahawks passed on selecting a dynamic edge rusher because there was dearth of talent at that position.
“If you were going to invest in one, then you better get him early because that was one of the weaker positions in the draft,” Rang said. “And I think the Seahawks just made a decision and said, ‘You know what, we’re not going to reach for a pass rusher just because we need to fill that need. Let’s just get some better football players to fill our other positions of concern.’ And I think that was one of their focuses, and I thought they pulled it off rather well.”
Rang said Seattle’s move to get LenDale White and Leon Washington shows that both head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider mean what they say about encouraging competition.
“There was a belief, at least in my mind last year that when they had the running backs they had it was ‘just’ Julius Jones or it was ‘just’ Justin Forsett,” Rang said. “There wasn’t anybody pushing them, and you were going off just their ability. Now someone is going to earn those spots. And I think that is going to push those players. I think Julius Jones is a better player when he’s pushed.”
Of the players drafted by Seattle on the second and third days, Rang believes that North Carolina defensive end E.J. Wilson has the potential to be the best of the bunch.
“He’s very physical at the point of attack,” Rang said. “He’s not going to produce a great deal of sacks, that’s not his game. But at the same time, for what the Seahawks are trying to build on this team, I think that he makes the most sense. So I think he’s going to be the best player, you just aren’t necessarily going to see that in terms of production.”
Here’s a pretty good interview with Wilson, where he talks about his sneaker obbession.
Rang went on to say that he like Virginia Tech safety Kam Chancellor’s ability to come up against the run and be a physical presence.
“He’s a guy that needed a playmaker, needed someone with speed and pure coverage ability behind him,” Rang said. “So when you put Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor together, then it makes a lot of sense.
“In Kam Chancellor you’re getting a player who is certainly a poor man’s version of Taylor Mays – a similar player in terms of size and being a big, physical guy in the middle. But you got him at so much better value later on that it allowed you to address other concerns early on.”
Finally, Rang said he was a little surprised Seattle only drafted one offensive lineman, albeit an important one in left tackle Russell Okung.
“I’m a little surprised by that,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Seattle is really hitting offensive linemen hard in free agency. But you could see from about that fifth round on that most of the top offensive linemen were going off the board.
“One of the players who I was really high on and thought would be a real nice fit for them was Selvish Capers from West Virginia. And I’ve actually spoken to some other teams, and I’m not exactly sure what happened to him but some teams were pulling him off the board. And that’s one of the reasons he slipped as far as he did. So there was the run on offensive linemen, and once they were gone I think the drop was so much that they are going to have to address those concerns in free agency.”