Monday, August 9, 2010

Ranking The Teams Within The Team: #2 - Tight Ends

Just for kicks, I decided to take a look at the various units on the Seahawks team and attempt to project how good, or bad, they may be in the upcoming season. I ranked the units based on their top-end potential as well as their low-end potential, and also how much confidence there was in predicting their performance. Here are the units that I ranked (in no particular order):

Kickers
Coverage
Offensive line
Quarterbacks
Running backs
Wide receivers
Tight ends
Defensive line
Linebackers
Secondary

#2 - The Tight Ends

Potential Stars in 2010: John Carlson
Carlson was a major disappointment last season. I would have never guessed he would decline in both receptions and yards, even with the state of the offense. He became a liability as a blocker and started to drop passes, which forced coaches to question how often they wanted him on the field. Carlson will be surrounded by better talent this season, and will be pushed by talented newcomers. He still has Pro Bowl potential, and it would not shock me to see it realized this year.

Potential Disasters: None
The strength of this unit is the total lack of downside. Each of the top three TEs are good at what they do. Carlson is close to a disastrous blocker, but his other qualities shine bright enough that it's hard to imagine him ever being a disaster.

Easiest Players To Project: Chris Baker
Baker is the veteran. He's played eight seasons, and will get you 15-30 catches a year with a few TDs and solid blocking.

SUMMARY:
Many pundits would place the tight ends as the best unit on the Seahawks. During much of this series, I had them there as well. You can see why when you have a young starter who has Pro Bowl tools, a rookie in Anthony McCoy who may end up being better than Carlson since he can block and catch, a vet in Baker and a very solid fourth in Cameron Morrah. The thing that knocked this group down a notch for me was that too much of their value is still in the "potential" category. There are no Pro Bowlers here. It's possible teams may eventually fear the Hawks two TE sets, but they don't yet. Regardless of where they rank, this is undoubtedly the group that is least likely to make fans cringe in 2010.

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