In the days following the NFL Draft, the so-called “experts” begin to offer hindsight analysis and grades on every team’s performance from the prior weekend. The NFL Draft has become such a large event that even casual fans are chiming in with their opinions.
I am very pleased with how the Seahawks drafted over the weekend. They stayed true to their “best player available” philosophy, and their draft board influenced decisions and took precedence over all.
From what I’m hearing, most of Seattle fans tend to agree with me: Seattle (and Tim Ruskell) had an outstanding performance through the weekend. On the current poll, most people seem to be giving the draft an “A” grade. They were able to draft the best player available in the class, and secured an additional first-round selection in 2010. It seemed as if every one of their picks presented exceptional value.
Some people who aren’t Seattle fans even agree with me. Sean McNally, the lead blogger at Blogging Dirty (Atlanta Falcons blog), considers Seattle one of the big winners in the 2009 NFL Draft:
If there is a team that really didn’t deserve to suck so badly last year it was Seattle. The receiving corp fell apart and the defense just failed them. Their acquisition of linebacker Aaron Curry was something that no mock draft predicted and it was something that will give the fans in the emerald city something to be happy about. However it is the later picks that really made me take notice, Max Unger is an Offensive Tackle/Center that I saw on the NFL Network online videos and he has really good footwork and is strong as a moose. I like the pick to secure a running game that really floundered last year.
Although enthusiasm is high around the Pacific Northwest right now, not everyone is as optimistic. Some national opinions are upset that Seattle didn’t take Mark Sanchez with the fourth overall pick; obviously offended that anyone would pass on the new face of New York. To be specific, NBC Sports gave Seattle a “C-” grade:
Aaron Curry was arguably the draft’s best defender, but strong-side linebackers don’t typically make overwhelming impacts in 4-3 defenses. Eugene Monroe would’ve been a better pick, and GM Tim Ruskell will live to regret passing on Mark Sanchez. Max Unger may only be a versatile reserve in year one, and Deon Butler could also struggle for playing time behind T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Deion Branch, and Nate Burleson.
Rutgers’ Mike Teel will never resemble a starting-caliber pro quarterback. Highly athletic TE Cameron Morrah was a value in the seventh and gives OC Greg Knapp a legitimate vertical threat behind John Carlson. Still, Seattle is coming off a 4-12 season and out of this class only Curry is sure to play extensively in 2009.
So I’m curious, 12th Man: how would you grade Seattle’s 2009 draft class? Are you optimistically looking forward to the future? Or depressed and protesting Tim Ruskell?