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The Seahawks came in with three picks and they added three players.
I think there are two ways of looking at what happened over the last three days.
Firstly, you can make a strong case for the new additions.
D’Wayne Eskridge shares similar traits to Tyreek Hill. He’ll provide another explosive, downfield threat in the vertical passing game. He’s adept at competing for the ball in the air, creating sudden separation to help move the chains and he has a knack for making the improbable possible. Seattle needs to be better on third downs and he can help them achieve that. As a kick returner he’s dynamite. The Seahawks badly needed an exciting WR3 and he’s a X-factor talent who was underrated throughout this process. Along with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Gerald Everett — the passing game is going to take some stopping in 2022.
Tre Brown is a special teams demon. Every year Seahawks fans underestimate the value of special teams. How many times were people surprised to see Neiko Thorpe and Nick Bellore make the roster? Brown can immediately help fill the void left by Thorpe. He was the top gunner available in this class. He’s very experienced in man-coverage. If you’re going to blitz 30-35% of the time, you need people who can cover in man. He also excelled at the Senior Bowl and was the only cornerback to make an interception in the 1v1’s (he had two) and he led his position group with five incompletions.
Stone Forsythe was considered by many to be a day two pick. He excels in pass protection, he plays with an edge and he looks the part with a 6-8, 307lbs frame and 34 1/2 inch arms. His short shuttle (4.63) is promising. I suspect he fell due to a lack of explosive traits and he’ll need to manage leverage at his height. Even so, it’s not often you get a chance to draft a potential starter at tackle in the sixth round. This is a complete shot to nothing, an investment in a player with potential at a vital position with no consequences if it doesn’t work out.
As a trio, it looks good.
Yet it’s also been a difficult experience to see so many other good players come and go with the Seahawks on the outside looking in.
The draft process was impacted by Covid and many people will make the case that Jamal Adams is worth more than a collection of unproven rookies.
The key to success though is to build through the draft.
Next year the Seahawks don’t have that much money to spend and both starting tackles, their starting cornerbacks, free safety, tight end and center are all out of contract.
D.K. Metcalf will expect talks on a new deal in 12 months and a Jamal Adams extension will be expensive and eat into your available cap space.
There were opportunities in this draft to really enhance your roster on the cheap at numerous positions and help build new foundations. Several teams have done this and it was a deep class, with terrific value stretching deep into round five.
I remain unconvinced that Adams was worth the draft outlay, the record-breaking contract he’s likely to receive or that he’s a natural fit in Seattle — with the Seahawks able to mesh a scheme with his talents that enable both player and defense to thrive.
This all leads to mixed emotions. There’s an appreciation for the three guys they added and some disappointment at what looks like a possible missed opportunity due to a lack of picks.
After all — this was the most explosive O-line class in years and they didn’t tap into it until round six.
Clearly they’re going to try and manipulate their lack of resource into a positive in undrafted free agency. We’ll see if they can pull that off.
There’s also work to be done in the veteran market. You would hope further talks with K.J. Wright are forthcoming. I think they need to throw another running back into the mix.
I also think it’s questionable whether they’ve done enough to manage the loss of Jarran Reed. Yes he was overpaid but he produced 17 sacks in 2018 and 2020 combined. That’s not to be sniffed at. And is Ethan Pocic really deserving of a mostly unchallenged run at the center position?
I don’t think the off-season moves — or any future moves that are forthcoming — have pushed this team dramatically closer to being a serious contender.
That’s a consequence of bad drafting from 2017-20 rather than anything done in 2021, however.
The hope has to be that Shane Waldron can be the difference — taking the offense to a new level which in turn elevates the team.
That could happen and has to be the thing to cling to in 2021. It’s asking a lot of a first-time play caller but other coaches from the Sean McVay tree have enjoyed rapid success elsewhere.
In terms of the rest of the NFC West, I don’t think there was anything too threatening from the other teams.
I talked in detail about the San Francisco 49ers on Friday’s live stream. I think they’ve been given an easy ride by the media for what was a very confusing process of moving up to #3. Neither Mac Jones or Trey Lance, in my opinion, were worth that pick. Yet they gave up their 2022 and 2023 first rounders for the privilege to make the decision between the two. That’s obscene.
I wonder if there was some buyers remorse, given Jones (and maybe Lance) would’ve been available at #12. With hindsight, it felt like a knee-jerk reaction to a frustrating 2020 season and as a Seahawks fan who has studied all of Lance’s college games, I’m not overly concerned with his arrival in the NFC West.
Many Niners fans were celebrating the fact they didn’t give up so much for someone with a dad-bod — but they might want to check out Lance’s tape before getting too excited. Especially his one outing in 2020 — an ugly performance against Central Arkansas.
It certainly feels like the Seahawks usurped the Rams by taking Eskridge, with Tutu Atwell essentially a distant Plan B. The additions of Bobby Brown and Robert Rochell deserve praise but overall LA’s class didn’t feel like a game changer.
As for the Cardinals, I like Zaven Collins but I’m not sure that’s an elevating pick in the top-20. Rondale Moore is a gadget player without Eskridge’s downfield ability. It feels like a so-so group for Arizona.
I thought the Broncos’ new GM George Paton had an outstanding first draft and the Jets made some serious moves to take a big step forward. The Chiefs continued their strong off-season with an impressive class, the Lions set about creating their new culture through the trenches and other teams such as Washington, Baltimore and Pittsburgh made smart moves.
I wouldn’t say any of Seattle’s NFC West foes, however, took a giant leap forward.
Tom Pelissero is reporting the Seahawks are signing Tamorrion Terry, which would be an excellent addition.
Cade Johnson, who I graded in round three, is also signing. I would highly recommend checking out my interview with him from February:
Other signings include Jared Hocker (OL), Pier-Olivier Lestage (OL), Bryan Mills (CB), B.J. Emmons (RB), Josh Johnson (RB), Connor Wedington (WR/KR), Jon Rhattigan (LB), Jake Curhan (OL) and Greg Eiland (OL).
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