ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. gave the Seahawks an overall grade of C-minus for their 2012 draft, and a D-minus for player value attained, worst in the league.
He saw Bruce Irvin as a late-second-round value upon whom the Hawks expended the 15th overall pick. Second-rounder Bobby Wagner met a need but could have been obtained a round later, Kiper felt, and quarterback Russell Wilson is “a great test case for shorter QBs, because he has everything else, but did they need him in the third round after grabbing Matt Flynn to come in and likely start?”
Ten games into the season, Irvin leads NFL rookies with 7.0 sacks, Wagner leads the team in overall tackles, and Wilson is 12th in the NFL with a 90.5 passer rating, second highest among rookie starters.
Our man Eric Williams had Kiper re-evaluate his thoughts as the Hawks stand 6-4. Kiper summed it up by saying it has been “a little better than I thought it would be.” Here’s his transcript of the Kiper interview:
On Wilson: “I wasn’t critical of Wilson. He didn’t go in the first or second round. I just felt like if you take him, you’ve got to realize he’s going to have to beat the odds with a quarterback who’s 5-10 and a half. We haven’t had that quarterback.
“Fran Tarkenton had a great career in the NFL. Obviously, you look at all the quarterbacks’ they’re 6-foot or taller. He’s 5-10 and a half. And to have him out there playing as well as he has, he’s been a great third-round pick. But he wasn’t a first- or a second-round pick. He went basically where he was projected to go.
“Great character, great intangibles. He has the over-the-top delivery, so we talked about not having very many passes batted down at the line of scrimmage. He was a great player for two schools.
“As I said on draft day, if he was 6-foot or taller, he would have been a top 10 pick in the first round. If he were 6-2, he probably would have been a top pick overall – certainly not No. 1 ahead of Luck – but probably No. 2 right up there with RGIII.”
On Irvin: “He’s basically a one-dimensional pass rusher, and he’s given them some production. He’s given them some sacks, which is what you want him to do. There’s been some games where he’s been quiet. He’s obviously got a lot of pass rushers on that line that help him out, a lot of guys to worry about and try to neutralize.
Overall: “They’ve got some production out of this draft, there’s no question about it. Now, ultimately down the road, it’s going to be Russell Wilson. Is he a quarterback that keeps progressing and ultimately becomes a top-10, top-12 quarterback? If he does, then it’s a phenomenal draft to get him in the third round. That’s ultimately going to determine it.
“And Certainly Irvin, to see how he continues to play. Right now he’s one dimensional. He’s on the field only in pass-rush situations. So we’ll how he develops. So I think the jury is still out to see how they’ve done, but they’ve gotten a lot of numbers. They’ve gotten a lot of guys who have made the team, a lot of guys who have competed and given them some production. So right now, it’s a little better than I thought it would be.”