If there was a theme for the Seattle Seahawks’ picks in last week’s draft, it was that almost all of the players offered high risk, high reward scenarios.
Let’s take a look at some of the situations I’m talking about.
Risk: Well publicized “attitude problems” that caused his college coach to limit his playing time.
Reward: If he can keep his head on straight and deal with being Marshawn Lynch’s backup for the next year or two, Michael has the potential to become a franchise running back who has been compared to Adrian Peterson.
Risk: Poor run defender who was driven backwards by college guards.
Reward: Elite pass rusher who has been compared to Cincinnati’s Geno Atkins. The question is whether his poor run defense will allow him to get on the field often enough to make an impact.
Risk: Unpolished prospect with speed concerns and has a lot to learn about route running.
Reward: As I pointed out yesterday, Harper is extremely strong and knows how to use that strength to fight off defenders and make the catch. He still has a long way to go, but his college game tape is reminiscent of a young Terrell Owens.
Risk: Major concerns regarding the health of his knees.
Reward: If Williams’ knees hold up, the Seahawks will have gotten an elite defensive tackle that can dominate in a way that no Seahawk defensive tackle has since Cortez Kennedy.
Risk: Lacks speed, needs a complete overhaul of his technique.
Reward: Big, physical corner with great length. If he’s coachable and can fix his technique problems, Simon has the potential to be every bit as good as Brandon Browner.
Risk: Rarely played in college. Extremely raw and unpolished.
Reward: With his tremendous physical talents, Willson has all-pro potential similar to that of Vernon Davis. After four years of college ball, Willson remains a long-term project and a question as to whether or not he will ever live up to his potential.
Risk: Violated some undisclosed rule that was severe enough for him to be kicked off the Oklahoma State team before his final year of college.
Reward: Before his incident, Bowie looked like a potential franchise left tackle similar to Russell Okung.
All of these players have the potential to become elite players. They were also available when the Seahawks drafted them because they come with considerable risk.
This is a game that Schneider has played, and won, before. Other teams questioned if Kam Chancellor was a fluid enough athlete to play safety. Richard Sherman was too big. Russell Wilson was too small. Even Bobby Wagner dropped to the Seahawks because he was seen as a “project.”
It is unlikely that all of these players will work out the way that Schneider envisions. The risk associated with these particular players is real and Schneider is hoping at least a few will pan out.
Ultimately, that’s probably okay. The Seahawks don’t need to nail every pick. If a few of these players reach their potential, this will be remembered as an amazing draft for Schneider and the Seahawks.