Albert Haynesworth Trade Could Alter Seattle's Draft Plans

Last weekend, the Washington Redskins acquired Donovan McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles. Bad news for the Seahawks, considering one more offensive tackle will probably be off the board by the sixth pick. Without McNabb, the Redskins were frontrunners to select quarterback Jimmy Clausen; with McNabb, they’re most likely going to select an offensive tackle like Russell Okung or Trent Williams.

Now more trade rumors are surfacing that could directly impact Seattle’s early draft plans:

The Washington Redskins are interested in trading defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and the Detroit Lions are interested in acquiring a big playmaking defensive tackle. Haynesworth has not only played in the head coach Jim Schwartz’s defensive system before, he’s played for Schwartz himself.

If the Detroit Lions acquire Albert Haynesworth, they’ll likely select an offensive tackle rather than Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy. For those of you who want Seattle to select a big offensive tackle with their first pick, you may be disappointed in a few weeks.

If the Lions opt for someone like Russell Okung, however, the Seahawks may be presented with a great scenario. After the Lions pick second, the Buccaneers are likely to select either Suh or McCoy. Following the Bucs, the Redskins and Chiefs are both expected to target offensive linemen. Desperately needing an offensive tackle, the Seahawks may be forced to pass on the fourth- or fifth-best offensive line prospect at sixth overall.

Despite not addressing the most noticeable need with their first pick, the Seahawks could have an opportunity to add a big-time defensive playmaker. In this scenario, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy or defensive back Eric Berry would both be available.

Don’t get me wrong – I want the Seahawks to address the offensive line. But adding a playmaker like McCoy or Berry could help create an elite defense in Seattle. McCoy is a prototypical three-technique tackle in the mold of Tommie Harris – Seattle fans know the big Chicago defensive tackle all too well after an embarrassing 2006 loss on Sunday Night Football – and Eric Berry is a big-play safety who is familiar with the defensive system in Seattle. Both players would also address needs at their respective positions.

Everyone knows the Seahawks need to improve their offensive line. But if they don’t add one of the top tackles with their first pick, there will be plenty of opportunities later in the draft to add talent.

New position coach Alex Gibbs is well-known for having successful offensive lines despite utilizing less-talented prospects. Gibbs has made it clear in the past that drafting an elite tackle is not necessary; linemen that fit his system can be found in later rounds and have just as much success.

From Mike Sando at ESPN.com:

Since Gibbs entered the NFL in 1984, his teams have drafted one offensive lineman among the top 20 overall choices — 338-pound tackle George Foster, selected 20th in 2003 despite not really fitting the Gibbs mold. Gibbs’ teams have held a dozen choices higher than 20th during that time. His teams have held 43 choices among the top 59 overall picks, using three of them for offensive linemen (all tackles).

So even if two or three tackles are off the board when Seattle picks sixth, don’t be too disappointed. The opportunity to add another playmaker elsewhere might be the best option – an offensive line coached by Alex Gibbs doesn’t necessarily need a big-time tackle prospect.

The question is, if both players are available, who would you rather add to Seattle’s defense? Gerald McCoy, or Eric Berry?

Shaun Dolence: [email protected]
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Tags: Albert Haynesworth Alex Gibbs Detroit Lions Donovan Mcnabb Eric Berry Gerald McCoy Jimmy Clausen Ndomakong Suh NFL Draft Offensive Line Russell Okung Seattle Seahawks Tommie Harris Trade Trent Williams Washington Redskins

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