Yesterday, I relayed a couple thoughts that John Schneider shared in a radio interview about his two draft failures. Since he was so specific, but didn’t include names, I thought it would be interesting to go through his draft classes and figure out who he was talking about.
Here were his two explanations of his draft failures:
- He compared a player to one he had before, but their hearts weren’t the same
- Taking a player who was productive, but lacked football confidence
Before we start to evaluate his draft picks trying to figure out who he was referring to, we need to establish what would constitute a failure in the draft. To me, a “draft failure” would be a player who the team was expecting a legitimate contribution from, but forced the team to give up on them before that happened.
By that criteria, I wouldn’t consider any late round pick a failure even if they didn’t make the team. Late round picks are gambles. You bet on potential and upside, but they’re available that late for a reason. Some gambles pay off, other don’t. It’s the nature of late round picks.
So lets narrow things down to players taken in rounds 1-5 of the draft.
First off, James Carpenter and John Moffitt aren’t draft failures. There’s a group of Seahawks fans who like to bash on those two players, but I don’t share that desire. Carpenter and Moffitt’s knee problems have been unfortunate, but neither had an injury history prior to the draft. They’ll either get their knees right or they wont, but calling them draft failures right now is just silly.
Korey Toomer fits the criteria, but I don’t think he is one of the two “failures.” Toomer was an extremely raw, high upside “project” LB when he was drafted. He didn’t make the team, but was on the practice squad and will be back with the Seahawks in training camp this year. The team clearly hasn’t given up on him yet. I don’t think Schneider would consider him a failure at this point.
That leaves just 2 players that fit the criteria above as draft failures: WR Kris Durham, and LB EJ Wilson.
Which player belongs to which explanation is something I’m not going to speculate on. That just doesn’t seem appropriate here. Besides, I’m fairly sure you can figure it out for yourself if you really want to.