Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Draft experts gives Hawks thumbs down

Post by Eric Williams on May 1, 2011 at 10:06 am with 41 Comments »
May 1, 2011 10:06 am
Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle James Carpenter. (Lui Kit Wong/TNT)

Good morning folks. In cruising the national media sites this morning one thing became pretty clear – they don’t think very highly of what Seattle did in the draft this weekend.

But before we get to that, I want to point you to a couple offerings from us this morning.

Dave Boling offers a nice profile on Seattle’s first round draft pick James Carpenter, who didn’t have a whole lot to say and is expected to let his pads do the talking.

My story today runs down the final day of the draft, including perspective from Pete Carroll and John Schneider on this year’s draft class and more info on Georgia receiver Kris Durahm

You can also check out bios on each player here.

Now back to those draft experts. ESPN’s Mel Kiper bloodied the Seahawks in his evaluation of this year’s draft, giving Seattle the worst grade out of all the teams – a “D”. He believes both Carpenter and Durham were reaches, and thinks they should have addressed the quarterback position. You have to be a ESPN Insider to view the article.

ESPN’s Trent Dilfer takes Pete Carroll to task for the Seattle Seahawks draft class for not taking Andy Dalton at No. 25, and says Matt Hasselbeck will not be back in Seattle in this audio link. Dilfer’s comments are toward the end of the podcast. According to reports, Dilfer also has suggested that Carson Palmer could be headed to Seattle.

These are interesting comments by Dilfer because he remains good friends with Hasselbeck. Also, Hasselbeck’s agent David Dunn also represents Palmer. However, Hasselbeck responded to the speculation by discounting the reports, saying they are just rumors via twitter.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports likes the fifth-round selection of free safety Mark LeGree, but says Seattle’s draft overall was just OK and gives Seattle a “C”.

Clifton Brown of the Sporting News gives Seattle a “D”, saying they could go from first to worst in the NFC West.

Adam Caplan of Fox Sports also gives Seattle a “D”, saying no team reached as badly for players as the Seahawks.

The only person with anything good to say about Seattle’s draft class was Rob Rang of, giving Seattle a “B” overall, giving the Seahawks credit for adding toughness up front on the offensive line.

Dan Pompei of the National Football Post provides some insight from league personnel on Seattle’s selection of Carpenter.


“The Seahawks’ selection of OT James Carpenter in the first round was a hot button issue. One front office man said he thought it was a reach. Another said he thought Carpenter may be the most gifted offensive lineman in the whole class, but he’s raw and might have problems picking up a complex scheme. A third said his team had Carpenter rated as a borderline first round pick, but he was surprised to see him taken with the 25th selection given the other talent that remained on the board.”

Kevin Price of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer checks in with new Seahawks Mark LeGree, who says he’s been told he’ll be given a chance to compete for a spot at free safety. This leads me to believe we might see a similar system in Seattle where the Seahawks use either LeGree or Kam Chancellor as deep safety like Pittsburgh’s Ryan Clark, in order to free up Earl Thomas to roam the field and make plays like Troy Polamalu.

ESPN’s Mike Sando offers his thoughts on the Seahawks’ draft.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 41
  1. I like Carpenter/Moffitt and I don’t care what anybody says. I would rather have had Carimi/Moffitt, but that’s over. He’s not in Seattle, as much as I would have liked for it to happen, and we move on…

    Mel just said that we had the #32 draft in the NFL. lol

  2. It’s going to be fun to watch Ed McCaffrey’s career all over again.

  3. OCHawkFan says:

    I liked Seattles draft. Finally addressed the Oline issues picked up some young DB talent. My only critique is I wish they wouldve picked up Christian Ballard with the first pick of the 4th rather than KJ Wright. I feel like DL is more of a need.

  4. I’d rather resign Matt, develop Charlie, and keep the draft picks.

  5. If I had to put a grade on this draft, I’d say B-. I liked the Moffit, Carpenter, Durham and Legree picks, wasn’t a big fan of the Sherman and Wright picks, but overall I’m satisfied, the O-line got a much needed repair job, which we will hopefully notice from day 1.

  6. Mel just talked about his “problem” with our draft.

    Lets just use an extreme with the word “value.” If the Patriots drafted Tom Brady in the 2nd round… can you imagine how that pick would have been crucified? That would have been a “stupid” pick.

    Point blank… if James Carpenter becomes a good/solid RT for 10 years… then, in my books, it is an “A” grade type of pick. I don’t care if he “should” have been a 2nd round pick. Is there any guarantees that the Bears, Steelers, or Packers would have passed on him?

    What would the Seahawks have to give up for Kevin Kolb? I know pabs likes him. lol

    I’ve said this a bunch of times the last few days, but Mr. Pete Carroll said that resigning Matt Hasselbeck was priority #1 this off-season. I have no reason to believe he was telling us a fib. If Matt wants to come back and Mr. Happy wants him… I don’t understand why it can’t/won’t happen. It’s as simple as that.

  7. Dukeshire says:

    Dilfer on Cowherd… From one blowhard to another. Total morons both.

    And with respect to Kiper, is draft grade is based only on his own player grades and rankings and has nothing to do with Carroll and Schneider’s evaluations. All these “experts” are of course going to criticize a team that didn’t draft according to how they felt they should. These grades are totally meaningless. In 3 years or so, we’ll know how this draft worked (or is working) out for Seattle. And I actually do respect Kiper (relative to the profession) but clowns like Adam Caplan and Clifton Brown simply parrot what they hear from Kiper, McShay, etc… They’re not talent evaluators nor do they even attempt to offer anything that could be considered insightful. (And I would absolutely feel the same way if all the grades were As)

  8. scottftlc says:

    I think media evaluations are just so much B.S. They are about the “stardom” of those making the selections, and their errors in judgment will be forgotten in weeks, if not less time. For those actually building a franchise, their mistakes will be around for years and be very costly. I think I’d trust those with real skin in the game.

    And why on earth is Carimi held in such esteem compared to Carpenter? That makes no sense whatsoever. Wisconsin would have been very fortunate to be a .500 team in the SEC. Realistically, they were about as good as Georgia, but they get to play a powder-puff schedule (comparatively) in the Big Ten. I’d take an All-SEC tackle from Alabama any day over a Big Ten lineman. The difference in competition is just that great. I suspect the Carimi thing is just media noise once again.

  9. Seahawks2620 says:

    It’s a good thing, that I don’t give a damn about what anyone else out side of the Seahawks organization thinks. They are all biased one way or another, for one player or another. Most of the “analysts” are complete jokes. As many have pointed out, Dilfer had his head so far up Dalton’s butt, he was just sour that the Seahawks didn’t pick him up. I’m actually quite happy that Dalton was not the choice at 25. Dalton would have enjoyed a full season of lying on his back, with the offensive line we would have thrown out there every Sunday. Good draft. B+.

  10. JTClark says:


    Great read! I thought your best point was that we drafted guys that fit our schemes and what we’re trying to accomplish, i.e. mean dudes on the O-line and press coverage in the secondary. All these draft grades fail to take into account what a team is building for, and a player’s value depends on whether he fits the scheme, not where he is on Kiper’s board.

    I love the mean streak we added to the O-line and the ridiculous options we now have in the secondary. We got a 6′ 3″ CB in Sherman, a ballhawk S in LeGree, and a brutal hitter in Maxwell! Durham seems to be the consensus reach for us, but I’m very intrigued by the guy. I’ve watched that video of him a few times, and the guy is a freak running across the middle like that. And he’s HUGE! To me, he’s the X-factor in the draft.

  11. scottftlc – I’m calling bullsh!t on your Carimi/Carpenter comparison. Carimi was the Outland Trophy winner (which means he beat out Carpenter in the SEC for this award from people who watch college football) this past season. What conference did Joe Thomas, Steve Hutchinson, Nick Mangold, Bryan Bulaga, Jake Long, etc. play in? The Big 10 can’t match the SEC in speed positions, but in the trenches, they can punch with the best of them and to say otherwise is a fallacy.

  12. Also, if Carimi sucks so bad (in comparison to the SEC players available) does that mean we all have to hate the John Moffitt pick because he sucked in the Big 10? Are the Seahawks stupid for taking a Big 10 o-lineman to line up next to Carpenter?

  13. chuck_easton says:


    I still say Carimi is primarily a LT. Never played RT or any other line position.

    Carpenter can and has played all line positions except Center and played them all at an acceptable level.

    I think that is the primary reason for Carpenter over Carimi. Seattle has this other dude they think just might be a good LT.

  14. scottftlc says:

    Nope, don’t hate anyone…however the accolades for Carimi are just over-the-top. He’d have been fine to take but I very much doubt he would have any better than a half dozen (or more) SEC linemen had he played in that league as opposed to the Big Ten. It’s not I’m saying he’s bad, or even less than outstanding, but the “love” for him over a player that excelled against much, much (much) tougher competition is just nuts.

    Never said he sucks or even isn’t a great player, just don’t understand the way over-the-top love for the guy – Outland notwithstanding (again which he got playing in a inferior league) – given the level of competition he faced every week.

    Not everyone from the Big Ten is going to be a lesser player than an SEC player…it’s just with everything else being equal or close to it, why not take the guy that had to play against the best competition week in and week out.

  15. So Moffitt was a bad pick because Cable said he’s going to play RG and he’s basically only played LG at Wisconsin?

    chuck – overall, you’re one of the smartest people on this blog and I’ll admit, you’re a hell of a lot smarter than me in the grand scheme of things (and I’m sure I’ve learned more things from you than you have from me on this blog), but I think most people know that playing RT is easier in the NFL than playing LT (even if a player has not done it before).

  16. scottftlc – Let me get this straight. You hate the John Moffitt pick, right? He’s a Big 10 o-lineman and the Seahawks should have taken some SEC guard instead, right?

  17. nighthawk2 says:

    The so-called draft experts can kiss BOTH sides of my crimson and gray ass! And I’ll blow an Irish rose for Todd McTool when he puckers up. He works for Scounts Inc? The Inc must stand for Incompetent. I like this draft, with the exception of taking a receiver with our 3rd pick of the 2011 draft. And if he turns out to be as good as Carroll and Schneider obviously think he is, I’ll be glad to change my mind on that one. I’d still rather have Sherrod than Carpenter, but not if we’re going to become a, well if not power running team, then at least primarily running team. That old saying about a (good) running game being a quarterback’s best friend ought to be particularly apt here; because no matter who is under center, Hasselbeck for a couple of years or Whitehurst, a good running game will mean neither guy, one a turnover machine and the other pretty inexperienced, won’t have to put the game on their shoulders to win it. They can become something of a “game manager” instead.

    I’m not impressed with the love fest that was going on for Carimi with these same “experts” either, to me he’s strictly a right tackle on a running team. I’m happier with Carpenter. Frankly I thought the Eagles would take Carimi.

    Have to agree with scottflc on the media evaluations. If you pick a star name
    (other than a guy who’s obviously shown he’s going to be a bust like Andre Smith), you get kudos. If you don’t, or it’s not where the so-called experts think you should take him, you get raked over the coals. If these guys are so smart, why aren’t they GMs or in some team’s personnel department? Hell, even I had us taking Sherman and McGree, but I had them going in the 7th round, not the 5th. That’s what I get for using CBS Sportsline for one my reference sites in trying to figure where some guys I hadn’t seen much or at all would go.

  18. piperfeltcher says:

    Yes RT is generally easier to play then LT but just because you play LT does not mean you can play RT. Some players move way better in one direction then the other so while a LT may have quick feet to get out to his left and pick up a block that does not mean he would be able to move out to his right as quickly.

  19. Dukeshire says:

    “He works for Scounts Inc? The Inc must stand for Incompetent.” Lol!

  20. nidhighe says:

    If the “experts” were so brilliant, teams would be falling over themselves to hire them as GMs.

    Besides, draft classes can’t be properly evaluated for at least 2-3 years.


  21. AaronCurryIsBUST says:

    Ignore the analysts who criticize the picks, those same fools gave us high marks for Aaron Curry while criticizing the Texans and Packers for reaching on Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews.

  22. “And with respect to Kiper, is draft grade is based only on his own player grades and rankings and has nothing to do with Carroll and Schneider’s evaluations.”

    Exactly right.

    And the fact that gave us a B+, and complimented most of the picks we made, just shows how little anyone really knows about how a draft is going to pan out.

  23. excile says:

    ACIB, I was thinking the exact same thing. They had me excited over the buster. Comparing him to LT for cripes sake!

  24. Dukeshire says:

    Who criticized the Packers for trading up into the 1st for Matthews?

  25. BobbyK says:

    With due respect, Kiper has a ranking system based on best players, in his opinion.

    The Seahawks (as well as other teams) have a system based on who they think are the best players for their systems.

    How many people think Dan Marino would have been highly ranked as an option QB? I know the NFL didn’t run that system, but you get the idea…

    Of course the Seahawks are going to take “lesser” players if they believe they fit the system better.

  26. Stevos says:

    With due respect to Kiper, and all the other sportswriters aka “draft experts”, his ranking system is based on (1) what he overhears real NFL scouts mumbling to each other when he’s lucky enough to be standing near them on a practice field, and (2) believing what other sportswriters said.

  27. Stevos says:

    Mel Kiper’s draft grades on the Packers over the past few years:

    2005: C (draft yielded 4 starters)
    2006: B (draft yielded 8 starters)
    2007: C+ (draft yielded 5 starters)
    2008: B- (draft yielded 4 starters)
    2009: A (Packers had two first round draft picks)
    2010: B-

    That averages out to a B-
    So apparently Kiper thinks drafting an entire Super Bowl winning team is worth a B-
    So much for ‘draft experts’.

  28. JTClark says:

    I think there’s a theme to our draft that has been largely ignored so far: Versatility. Look how many of our picks can play multiple positions:

    Carpenter plays tackle, but also projects well at guard.

    Moffitt started the majority of his college career at guard, but also played some games at center.

    Sherman played two years as a WR before switching to CB.

    Maxwell is a corner, but has also been projected at safety due to his size.

    Levingston played both DE and DT at LSU.

    Smith is primarily a linebacker, but I’ve seen talk about him being converted to a strong safety.

    Anyways, it’s obvious that Carroll and Schneider value guys who can contribute at multiple positions if necessary. We’ll see how it all turns out, but I like the versatility we’ve added in this draft.

  29. BobbyK says:

    Steve Hutchinson was a stupid pick b/c he could only play left guard? I’d rather have a crappy player who could play a bunch of positions than a good player at one? lol

  30. JTClark says:

    BobbyK, that’s not at all what I meant. Look at how many guys we had to plug into the O-line last year. I’m sure we’ll lose another dozen players to injury this year too. It would be nice to fill those holes with guys already on our team, rather than trading draft picks.

  31. Stevos, I think you nailed it. If that doesn’t convince people that (a) kiper is a waste and (b) draft grades given before players hit the field are a waste, I don’t know what will.

  32. rgbuckl says:


    Where the “Like” button for you post? I love what you said and everyone should realize the JS & PC have a plan. I’m dying to find out what it is.

    That’s another reason why this year is probably the worst year for those “experts” to grade our draft. All the other years, we’ve already gotten our FAs and use the draft to fill in the holes. Since this year is the exact opposite, it doesn’t make any sense to grade what they’ve done until we see what they can get accomplished in FA. Then we’ll see what the full plan is…

  33. freedom_X says:

    Following the free agent theme – one of the criticisms of Seattle’s draft is that most of the lower picks were “overdrafted” according to conventional wisdom.

    Consider this theory though: There’s no signing of undrafted free agents for the foreseeable future. So because of that, a team has to pick guys they like the most, even if their perceived “value” is less than the round they were taken in. Even if most teams rate these guys as undrafted free agents, Seattle (or any other team) can’t count on signing them any time soon, and the longer time passes the less likely you can count on getting them.

    This theory depend a lot on how much contact Seattle has with the players they drafted. Can they talk to them? Give them a playbook and film to watch? Or after their press conference, is that it until the lockout is lifted?

  34. JTClark says:


    Great point. The team can’t have any contact with the new players outside of their introductory press conferences and all that. As for playbooks, I don’t think the team can hand them out, but a bunch of guys came in and got theirs last week during those couple days when the lockout was lifted. I assume those players can make copies for the new guys. But you’re right, it looks like they deliberately picked guys who would fit right into their system because, at this point, there’s no rookie mini-camp or OTAs or training camp on the radar.

    Which really sucks.

  35. Cicero says:

    This was a pathetic excuse for a draft, Kiper’s “D” grade is spot on. The handling of pick #25 especially was inexcusable.

  36. NisquallyHawk says:

    Obviously Cicero you need to take both your hands on place them on Kiper’s arse cheeks…then concentrate your focus and strength, exhale and push as hard as you can until you arms begin to quiver, and pop your head out of Kiper’s Arse!…
    For health and safety reasons you should wash your head, face and do not open your mouth…this will greatly reduce the feces you are spewing, and please do not overlook this use of Q-tips to ensure you get the crap out of ears!
    Other than that, have a Great Seahawk Day!

  37. I’m an obsessive Kiper fan because I agree with his grade of a “D” and I think all of this homering of our draft to make it look good is a bit ridiculous? Alright buddy.

  38. Stevos says:

    “The handling of pick #25 especially was inexcusable.”

    That’s an unsupportable gripe. The Seahawks obviously felt that their #1 need was an OT. No RT = no running game = no improvement in the team long-term.

    They felt none of the QBs available were worth a first round pick. There are QB options through free agency or trade, and they think there is a smarter investment out there in one of those QBs.

    If they wanted Carpenter or Carimi or Sherrod, they needed to pick before 29. At 29 the Bears took Carimi, at 32 the Packers took Sherrod. If Carimi or Carpenter had been available at 31, the Steelers likely would have pounced, because both OTs are Steelers type players.

    So, Schneider couldn’t trade back more than 4 picks without missing out on his premium OT. It was a solid strategy to take Carpenter at 25.

    If Carpenter turns out to be a bust, then you’ll be proven correct. But that’s highly unlikely, since Carpenter handled all the top defensive linemen the SEC could throw at him, and this while playing only two years NCAA Division I ball, meaning that Carpenter is still learning and has perhaps more upside than any O lineman in this draft.

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