Part One in a Series – Grading the Freshman Class of 2011


Join us as we take a look at the Seahawks rookie class of 2011 beginning with Round 1, James Carpenter and Round 3, John Moffitt.

Going into the 2011 season, one of the Seahawk’s most obvious needs was shoring up the injured and previously unaddressed offensive line. One of the trends in previous drafts included drafting the best athlete as opposed to drafting for the positions we needed.

In this draft, we benefited hugely from Pete Carroll’s focus on position needs and John Schneider’s ability to scout for talent.

Round 1 – First  round pick, James Carpenter, OT came as the 25th pick in the first round out of Alabama where one of his most notable accomplishments was helping the Crimson Tide win the National Championship in 2010.. This was the second straight season the Seahawks had selected a tackle in the first round (Russell Okung, 2010), a clear indicator that Pete and John were committed to a running game via an enhanced O Line.

While Carpenter only played through week 11 due to injury, he definitely had a positive impact on our line. However, he also faced expected rookie year challenges in learning to play at a faster pace and against elite NFL players. I think it speaks well to his football IQ that he minimized his mistakes after the first few games and became a real asset. I think he’s smart and dedicated enough to turn himself into a problem for D lines across the league.

My grade – B

Round 3 – Third round pick John Moffitt came from Wisconsin at the 75th pick overall. Earning a reputation for durability and versatility, “Moff” started 42 of 45 games for the Green Badgers and played both Guard and Center. In almost 3000 snaps, he allowed only 3.5 sacks and was only penalized twice. Frankly, I’m amazed he lasted into the 3rd round and he was really a no-brainer pick. Kudos to John for his scouting on Moffitt.

Playing through only week 10 due to injury, Moffitt also stepped up his game as the year went on. Facing the same rookie challenges as Carpenter, Moffitt also showed a strong work ethic and a shallow minimized learning curve. I totally expect him to anchor the O line for years to come.

My grade – B+

In fairness, both of these players got the short end of the stick kicking off their pro careers.  The player lockout meant delayed signings, no mini camps, no contact with coaches and therefore less preparation going into their rookie season. While impossible to factor in, it’s likely that the lockout had some impact on the slow start both players got.

What’s your take?