A few weeks ago, I tried to sum up what the Hawks needed to leave this draft with, and it wasn’t short list. Let’s take a look:
1 starting caliber offensive tackle [Okung – CHECK PLUS]
1 offensive playmaker (this could WR or RB) [Tate, Leon Washington – CHECK PLUS]
1 starting caliber defensive lineman [EJ Wilson – Tentative CHECK]
1 starting caliber safety [Thomas, Chancellor – CHECK PLUS]
1 starting caliber running back [Washington, White – CHECK PLUS]
1 QB to challenge Mike Teel at #3 [Not addressed]
When I say starting caliber, that is relative to the Seahawks team. They would have to be ready to start for our team. Not a high bar.
Beyond those things, it would be great to add:
1 starting caliber offensive guard or center [Not addressed]
1 WR with upside [Tate – CHECK]
A 2nd defensive lineman [Kevin Vickerson, Dexter Davis – CHECK PLUS]
Another safety [Chancellor – CHECK]
Another CB [Thurmond – CHECK]
Wow. That is wild. Not only do we exit the draft with players at nearly every position of need, but we exit with players who in most cases have a chance to be quality contributors, and a few that could be Pro Bowl talents. The master stroke of the draft were the three players that were *not* drafted, Washington, White and Vickerson. People seem to think White is the penciled in starter. I still have my money on Forsett. In fact, I think a Forsett/Washington duo is ideal for this system since both can run well outside and inside as well as catch the ball with confidence. Washington is basically Forsett with more speed and a little less strength. Both are guys that average over 5 YPC, but remember Forsett did that behind the Seahawks offensive line, while Washington ran behind a great Jets line.
Yes, we’ve got yet another line configuration with a few new players (including a rookie), and yes we have a new line coach with likely a slightly different system, and yes we have another new offensive coordinator. But we’ve also got more talent. It’s going to be hard to not improve our running game. That’s a victory right there.
Golden Tate should provide some versatility in the WR ranks, but be careful about expecting too much from a rookie WR, even a talented one.
On defense, it became clear how we are building this line. Vickerson and Wilson are both run stuffers who are unlikely to play on 3rd downs. We will compliment them with Chris Clemons, who we got from the Eagles, Nick Reed and possibly Dexter Davis who are unlikely to play on 1st or 2nd downs. Aaron Curry will be the guy who potentially rushes the passer on earlier downs (as well as 3rd downs). Add in a ball hawking FS in Thomas who can cover a slot receiver and Kam Chancellor who could be a devastating blitzer (I call first dibz at nickname: Battering Kam, Kam Bam Thank You Mam, Slam Kam). Then, for good measure, add in another bump-and-run cover corner in Thurmond who will fit in nicely with Josh Wilson and Marcus Trufant.
It may not all come together in year one, but the plan is coming into focus, and that’s a victory as well.
Special teams should also get a boost from players like Chancellor, Davis, Tate, Washington, and Thurmond.
The rest of the additions are just gravy that could become quality players or washouts. We didn’t need another TE, but it looks like we added a talented one who fell because he smoked pot (god forbid). And then there is Jameson Konz who stands 6’4″ and has a 46″ (!!!!) vertical leap while running a 4.4 40-yard-dash. I love a pick like this in the 7th round. He should be a great special teamer, and could end up turning into a unique offensive weapon. All reward with very little risk.
The only people not thrilled with the Seahawks events of the past three days are Cardinals, Rams and 49ers fans. You can never tell how good or bad a draft is until a year or more later, but we knew going in that this was a draft that would define the Seahawks fortunes for the next decade, and it certainly appears like things are rapidly heading in the right direction.