Seahawks have to do a better job with their first draft pick

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25: Running back Christine Michael #32 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25: Running back Christine Michael #32 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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L.J. Collier of the Seahawks
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – NOVEMBER 24: L.J. Collier #95 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Seahawks first picks hit the breakdown lane

Now we come to the league’s poster boy for penalties, Germain Ifedi. It’s a good thing he doesn’t have kids, or he’d probably drive them to school before they got in the car. If he drove at Indy, he’d probably lap the pace car. The man makes a lot of false starts. That being said, he’s gotten better. Still, he was actually taken in the first round in 2016. To be fair, 2016 had a pretty bad talent pool, especially past the first dozen picks. For every Jack Conklin or Laremy Tunsil, there are dozens of Christian Hackenbergs. And that’s a terrifying thought. Ifedi’s better than his reputation, but he wasn’t a great pick.

Malik McDowell was obviously the worst selection the Hawks could have made. That has nothing to do with on-field performance, of course. We’ve talked about this one enough, so let’s just be thrilled we got Chris Carson and David Moore in the seventh round in 2017. Carson was worth a first-round selection, so this wasted draft pick evens out, as far as I’m concerned. Plus, the blown pick had nothing to do with talent evaluation.

We bounce back to a legitimate first-round pick in 2018 with the selection of Rashaad Penny. I was totally on board with this selection at the time. I have gotten a bit impatient at the wait for him to pan out, though. You don’t see too many top-flight running backs that don’t show their best work until their third year in the league, after all. Sony Michel was taken just four picks later, and Nick Chubb four picks after that. Guards Will Hernandez and Braden Smith were both available as well. Penny finally showed signs of greatness before his injury closed out 2019 for him, but this is the year he has to produce.

Finally, we come to the Seahawks most recent pick, and another first-round surprise, L.J. Collier. It’s often hard to tell how a player is going to perform over their career based on their rookie year. Just look back at Frank Clark, who got zero starts as a rookie. Or go all the way back to 2000, when the great Shaun Alexander only got one start in his first season. Still, most players that are going to be great get into the lineup a lot more than Collier. He was injured in camp, so he missed a lot of crucial developmental time. But still, 152 snaps for a first-round pick is abysmal. He only showed up on the stat sheet in three games, despite getting into 11 contests. By the way, there is precisely one more photo available of Collier in Hawks gear than there is of McDowell. McDowell has none. I just hope Collier is 100 percent all through camp so we can see what he can do.

Next. Four roster cuts we could see on the Hawks. dark

Overall, the track record of Carroll and Schneider’s first pick isn’t great. Part of that is the fact they don’t have the luxury of being a terrible team, so they’ve had very few high picks. The Seahawks average draft slot over these ten seasons is 34th. That happens when you keep trading down. Do it often enough, and the only thing left in the lot is a Yugo (Google it, kiddies). The Hawks acumen in the later rounds has saved them. But with Wilson’s plea to get more playmakers, it may be time to trade up.