John Schneider spoke to ESPN 710’s Brock and Salk show today. He had this to say about the offensive line class in the draft:
“It’s a good group. It’s better than it has been in several years. There doesn’t appear to be as many drop-offs, if you will. I remember talking to you guys about Justin Britt. We felt like we needed to take Justin right where we did because there was a huge shelf there, a big drop-off. This one looks pretty consistent all the way through at this point.”
Yesterday we revealed a new equation called the ‘Trench Explosion Formula’ (TEF). It combines a prospects vertical jump, broad jump and bench press to create a rating that directly compares to Seattle’s self-confessed ideals for the O-line.
The formula is explained in great detail here. It paints a pretty clear picture on Seattle’s O-line/draft philosophy.
The Seahawks have not drafted an offensive lineman since 2012 that has graded below their cumulative ideal using TEF. Justin Britt in 2014 had the lowest grade and even he scored a perfectly ideal 3.00 using the formula.
In yesterday’s piece I suggested the Seahawks reached for Britt because he was the last player on their board in the round 2-4 range that matched their physical ideal. Today we have the proof — and it backs up what Schneider told ESPN 710 today.
Only four offensive tackles were drafted between Seattle’s selection of Britt in round two and Garrett Scott, who they drafted in round six:
#64 Justin Britt 3.00
#66 Morgan Moses: 2.69
#67 Billy Turner: 2.83
#140 Cameron Fleming: 2.45
#149 Kevin Pamphile: 2.96
#199 Garrett Scott: 3.27
Remember, anything at 3.00 or above matches Seattle’s cumulative ideal for explosive offensive linemen. They haven’t drafted any player with a sub-3.00 since 2012.
This 2014 sample doesn’t look at all like a coincidence. The Seahawks were willing to reach for Britt because he matched their performance ideals in the explosive tests (vertical, broad, jump). No other offensive linemen available at the end of the second round got close to that level.
If nothing else, it proves we’re onto something with our new formula.
Ultimately, had they missed out on Britt — there’s a very strong chance they wouldn’t have drafted a tackle in 2014 until Scott in round six. They had a gaping hole at right tackle and needed to get one.
Reaching for Britt looks like a classic example of what Pete Carroll often refers to. They draft for their team — not everyone else in the NFL. The Seahawks clearly want explosive offensive linemen and they have a standard they appear to be sticking to. TEF shows Britt was explosive in comparison to Seattle’s self-confessed ideal. Moses, Turner, Fleming and Pamphile were not.
When Schneider talks about a ‘big shelf’ in 2014 and how this draft is different — it likely means they can add guys who fit their proposed criteria without needing to panic and fear missing out altogether.
In the first round they can consider the likes of Jason Spriggs and potentially Germain Ifedi and Shon Coleman. Later on they’ll have the option to target Connor McGovern, Joe Haeg, Joe Dahl and Alex Redmond. They should be able to draft two players they really like in rounds 1-4, without ever feeling like they have to reach.
We talked more about TEF in this weeks podcast. Don’t forget to check it out: