Monday, May 4, 2009

2009 NFL Draft Grades: Seattle Seahawks

Though I felt Seattle would win the NFC West in 2008, I did mention that the Seahawks could have a down year in my final 2008 NFL predictions. I turned out to be right in that respect. The Seahawks demise came a year earlier than I expected, thanks to injuries aplenty. With an earlier faltering point the new head coach, Jim Mora (the lesser, er, Junior), can start the rebuilding plan. Seattle was a much better team than their 4-12 record would indicate.

Despite not having a true feature back the Seahawks managed to average 110.5 rushing yards per game, good for 19th in the NFL. That is their offensive highlight. The lowlights are more abundant, mostly due to injuries. Hasselbeck, Deion Branch, and Nate Burleson all missed significant time which destroyed the passing game, which finished ranked 29th in The League with a measly 163.6 yards per game. They managed just 18.4 points per game (25th). Much like the Chiefs the defense was even worse. Though they were about average in rushing yards allowed per game (18th in The League), teams were able to throw at will. Opposing teams averaged a mind-boggling 259.3 yards per game through the air, ranking Seattle dead last in the NFL. They also allowed 24.5 points per game, matching their 25th ranking on offense. It's clear what needs to be upgraded here.

The 2008 season was known as Mike Holmgren's last and was, easily, his most forgettable 16 games on the job. Injuries riddled the offense and the defense had problems stopping most teams. Jim Mora, Jr. takes over and looks to maintain the status quo coaching and scheme wise. Don't expect much to change in the Pacific Northwest; but Seattle may have one last hurrah in them after this newly minted draft class.


1/4/4 - Aaron Curry, ILB/OLB, Wake Forest
2/17/49 - Max Unger, OC/OG, Oregon
3/27/91 - Deon Butler, WR, Penn State
6/5/178 - Mike Teel, QB, Rutgers
7/36/245 -
Courtney Greene, SS, Rutgers
7/38/247 - Nick Reed, DE, Oregon
7/39/248 - Cameron Morrah, TE, California

  • CB - Try again.
  • OL - Check!
  • QB - Check!
  • S - Check!
Seattle made the standard seven picks during the 2009 NFL draft. They grabbed arguably the best interior o-lineman in somewhat local product Unger (Oregon), who will undoubtedly challenge a number of incumbents this season already. They found a new QB, Rutgers' Mike Teel, to fight with Jeff Rowe for the third string position and to eventually be the backup to either Seneca Wallace are a more touted rookie once Hasselbeck hangs them up. A steal in the 7th round, Teel's college teammate Greene could become Deon Grant's successor at SS. They needed a CB but may have shied away on one hoping that Josh Wilson or Kelly Jennings finally evolve into a competent #2. Looks like they'll be back for a corner or two in 2010.

GRADE: 80/100

Pick 1 - Aaron Curry was considered by many people to be the best defensive player in the entire draft. While he didn't play a flashy position or provide incredible pass rushing skills, his ability to diagnose a play, tackle, and cover makes him as much as a "can't miss" prospect as any. He'll be a wonderful outside linebacker for Seattle, and gives them a young trio that should be together for the next four to six years. Curry could have easily gone to Detroit or Kansas City. Their loss is Seattle's gain. Grade: 10

Pick 2 - The team needed offensive line help and is getting a good one in the former Duck. Unger can play center, guard and right tackle if need be. He'll more than likely push Spencer and Sims throughout training camp and is a definite future replacement for the aging Wahle. Another solid selection by Mora and Co. Grade: 10

Pick 3 - Like the Derrick Williams analysis, I'll try to keep my Penn State bias out of this grade. Deon Butler was a DB walk on at PSU. After his redshirt freshman season the coaching staff swapped him to WR and he never looked back. He simply outperformed Williams in every way as a WR. Butler has deceptive speed and solid hands. He's an ideal #3 WR and, with some technique refinement and added muscle, could become a solid #2. With injuries ravaging the WR corp last season, Butler will have a chance to play right away. He is already listed as the 4th WR on the depth chart. I'd expect him to stay there this season until Burleson and/or Branch is gone. Grade: 7

Pick 4 - After the Butler pick Seattle didn't have a selection until round six. There they took a developmental QB who has no chance at being more than a #2. Teel will fight with current #3 QB Jeff Rowe for the right to hold a clipboard and be the emergency QB on Sunday's. Teams are always looking for the next Tom Brady, a late round gem at QB. I doubt the Seahawks got one here and the reason thsi grade is lower is due to the belief that Teel may have gone undrafted. Teel is definitely a better option than Keith Null though. Grade: 5

Pick 5 - The Greene pick rates right up there with Curry and Unger. Greene, once considered a 3rd or 4th round pick, slid on draft day due to a perceived attitude issue. If that can stay under wraps he could easily become a solid replacement for Deon Grant. He is a hard hitting, ball-hawking SS in the Brian Dawkins mold. Getting him at 245 was a steal. Love it. Grade: 9

Pick 6 - Patrick Kerney is aged and can't stay healthy. Lawrence Jackson had a mediocre rookie season. Daryl Tapp and Baraka Atkins are rotational guys that can never be every down players. While I don't know if Reed will become a starter, he provides good depth and insurance should Kerney (or someone else) miss time. He is a little raw and undersized but a year at the NFL level should fix that. Grade: 6

Pick 7 - The Seahawks got their TE of the future last year in John Carlson but behind him they had some scrubs more worthy of special teams play. Morrah can become a great #2, though he needs to add some weight and muscle plus refined his blocking skills, which are sorely lacking. He should have stayed at Cal for another year but, with time, he would be an ideal weapon in the red zone. Grade: 7

GRADE: 54/70


They didn't take a CB which is really the only bad thing I can say about this draft. They made the right choice in taking Curry over Mark Sanchez, for sure. They now have an elite LB corp that will be around while the team recharges. Their choice of o-lineman was great, considering his versatility. I think they got a steal in Greene and he could turn out to be a starter in the not-too-distant future. A CB would have been nice, preferably in place of Teel or maybe even Reed. But they did add Ken Lucas and Wilson and Jennings are still young.


WHY: They got the best defensive player in the draft at #4 plus. They answered questions at OG and OC with one player. They have a WR that will play this season and could be a main target by 2010. This is the best draft by far, just squeaking in front of division rival St. Louis. Perhaps the NFC West won't be a divisional laughingstock by 2010?

NOTE: My "final grade" is weighted and is not a simple combination of "needs" and "talent".

Best Pick: Curry
Worst Pick: Teel
Sleeper: Greene
Instant Impact: Curry
Developmental: Morrah

OTHER DRAFT GRADES - Seattle Seahawks
CBS Sports (Prisco): B-
CBS Sports (Rang): A
ESPN (Kiper): B (Brooks): B (Fan's): B
Walter: A+



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