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2009 NFL Draft: Seahawks Are Winners?

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.

To put things into perspective, the same source gave the New York Jets and New England Patriots both “A-“ grades, and assigned the New York Giants an “A+” grade. Go figure.

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?

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Tags: 2009 NFL Draft Aaron Curry Mark Sanchez NBC Sports New York NFL Draft Grades Seattle Seahawks Tim Ruskell

  • Scott F. Guinn

    I could not disagree more strongly with NBC. Sanchez may or may not pan out. Quarterbacks and wide receivers tend to be feast or famine, and I don’t think we’ve seen enough of Sanchez to know for sure. He backed up Leinert, who hasn’t exactly been burning it up in the NFL.

    I think Seattle did a great job. I think a couple of these guys will have an immediate impact. Look for Seattle to go at least 9-7 this year, maybe even 10-6 considering the conference they’re in.

  • Gene Ruthstrom

    As a Hawk fan since the first year.
    I was disappointed that we did not get Sanchez.
    I do understand why he was not picked as GM’s and coaches must win now.

  • Ed M

    NBC Sports is notorious for lazy reporting. The Seahawks went 4-12 last year with a decimated roster. They finished the year with 5 replacement offensive lineman, a broken down defense, an injured starting quarterback, and no receivers.

    If even 50% of those players return healthy in 2009, we will see a vast improvement. Max Unger has a chance to start at any of the interior O-line positions. Curry will start and make an impact immediately. I actually think that Deon Butler has the ability to be one of our top 3 receivers by day one.

    The signings of Ken Lucas and Justin Griffith might seem small now, but these can make a HUGE impact next season. A lot of people argue against Griffith’s skills, but take a look at his numbers against Leonard Weaver. Griffith’s “production” skills are on par with Weaver AND he is a skilled blocker in both running and passing situations.

    Lucas, well… we know what he can do. He was the stud corner when Trufant was still learning the ropes.

    I’m a little disappointed that safety still remains an open conversation. Maybe Mora isn’t ready to throw in the towel there. It’s hard to say that their poor play was completely their fault last year. When a QB has as much time to throw as the ‘Hawks opponents do, the coverage advantage clearly goes to the offense.

  • Drew P.

    Loved the draft we had. We filled a need at OLB and a player that will actually make an impact on our 2009/10 season. He puts some more weight on our front seven at 252. was the safe pick and sanchez would ride the bench for 2-3 years before actually coming and playing. also a good pick with unger. a nice reserve and possible starter this coming year. also we get Denver first round pick which i think we will be drafting in the top 10 since i do not think Denver will be very good. and with that pick we have to go safety and get TAylor or Eric Berry we need a safety that can lay the wood and actually cover someone. the future is very bright for the seahawks we r starting to add younger players. and on Leroy HIl real quick we should get him signed but if we dont we need to get brooks to fill that need and make a real run at the super bowl and we also signed ken lucas who is actually 6 feet.

  • Shaun Dolence

    Thanks for the comments.

    Gene, I understand you’re disappointed that we didn’t draft Sanchez, but we did obtain Denver’s natural first round pick in 2010. The quarterback class in the 2010 draft will be much, much better. I’m not personally sold that Sanchez will be a GREAT quarterback in the NFL, but I’ve been wrong (several times) before. In my opinion, Curry was the best pick for the present AND the future.

  • Ray H

    Last year was an anomaly by any standards…The key to this year’s draft is/was next year’s draft, and available skill position players coming out next year…Hasselbeck will be fine for at least the next year if not the next 2 or 3…with 2 first round picks, watch them attempt to get Bradford or McCoy, to groom for a year or 2…I’d take either over Sanchez any day…

  • drewplum

    yeah i would rather have mccoy or brad ford also. but we should also get Eric Berry or Taylor Mays in the first round. we need a hard sitting safety that will have a nastiness and an attitude in our dbs that we havent had in a long long time

  • Shaun Dolence

    Good comment regarding the safeties.

    A lot of us out here in the Pacific Northwest are more familiar with Taylor Mays because he played high school ball in Seattle and was recruited hard by Washington. Unfortunately for UW, he stayed in the Pac 10 and they have to play him every season.

    Mays projects as a first round choice and would be a great addition for Seattle. As you mentioned, however, there is also a pretty good safety playing in the SEC. Eric Berry is an outstanding athlete as well, and should be a high pick in 2010.

  • drewplum

    Yeah. Everyone is saying the Seahawks have to go QB next year. But for our first round we have many more immediate needs. We also dont need a LT right now if walter leaves. I think we should give lock a chance there and play willis at RT. The things we need for next years draft is another corner opposite True but we did sign Lucas who will hold it down hopefully for 2-3 years or so. but our most pressing need must be safety if we can draft i legit safety that can hit cover and would bring some nasty attitude and head hunting attitude towards our DBs we will have the best defense in the league or in the hot 5. Also the possibility of drafting a RB cuz idno how long juliues will be our number one. well see though im just pumped for this season and we signed hill final super key