The Seahawks added a second player to their offensive line on Friday, drafting Wisconsin guard or center John Moffitt. It follows the acquisition of James Carpenter with the #25 overall pick, a player expected to feature at right tackle. It further emphasises the team’s ambition to improve the offensive line with three high picks in the last two drafts.
Seattle traded down from the #57 pick after a deal with the Detroit Lions (who took running back Mikel Leshoure). The Seahawks moved down to #75 where they took Moffitt and added another fourth round pick (#107 overall) while switching picks in rounds five and seven with Detroit.
The Seahawks will be back on the clock shortly after round four begins, making the second pick when the draft resumes at 9AM PST on Saturday.
So what about Moffitt?
He’s 6-4 and 319lbs, with 33 inch arms and experience starting at guard and center for the Badgers. He ran a 5.55 at the combine and benched 23 reps. The first thing that stands out to me is a need to improve his overall strength, because for a guy his size he’s not that powerful. It’s something he’s had an issue with against physically superior defensive lineman. Neither is he particularly mobile or an above average athlete.
Moffitt does a good job finishing his blocks and he’s a grafter, but he’s not an obvious zone blocking fit. Aside from a lack of obvious mobility, he’s not a great second level blocker and sometimes struggles to diagnose what his role needs to be on a given play. There are flashes of an edge on the field, which is good to see – but you’d like to see that nastiness more often because it exists.
Some things you maybe don’t know about Moffitt, apparently he’s a soundbite wonder for the media, often making entertaining quotes to the press. He’s also started 42 out of the last 45 Wisconsin games.
Two things stick out to me as we approach the final day of the 2011 draft. Firstly, despite the links to Tom Cable and Alex Gibbs, this is very much a different approach to the Gibbs philosophy. Size is the order of the day, which goes against a lot of what Seattle’s former line coach would preach. Clearly the offensive line has been an issue for some time and it’s getting a make over in two drafts. It’s not the only area of need, however, and it’s not the only reason why Seattle’s run game has been poor the last couple of years.
Secondly, there appears to be real contrast in the way the team has gone about business. Last year there were bold moves to trade for running backs like Lendale White, Marshawn Lynch and Leon Washington – all at the expense of draft stock. The trade for Charlie Whitehurst was considered an expensive yet calculated gamble to fill a vital position. Last year they invested a second round pick in a wide receiver with very raw talent but needed some polish (Golden Tate).
Twelve months on, it’s been nothing but conservative. Two additions that won’t win any style points and a determination to accumulate picks rather than spend them. Of course, the lockout plays a part in that. Yet this is seemingly a very different approach.
Seattle’s remaining picks
Round Four: #2 (99) and #10 (107)
Round Five: #23 (154) and #25 (156)
Round Six: #8 (173)
Round Seven: #2 (205) and #39 (242)