After two weeks of creating narratives, betting, cheeseburgers, Rocky references, and endless prognostication, it is finally time for some football! The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, the top two seeds and clear championship level contenders, are set to do battle in Glendale for Super Bowl 56. And the Seahawks could learn a thing or two from them.
You have some of the very best talent and the very best young and veteran coaching this league has to offer on display. As both teams look for their second title in the past half decade, and take the next step toward a potential dynasty, I wanted to take a look at some lessons the Eagles and Chiefs can teach the Seattle Seahawks, with the hope of seeing Seattle back in the big game sooner than later.
It’s a story that many have heard or read this season, but it bears repeating. That is, the Seahawks truly rebuilt their franchise’s outlook last spring with an all-timer of a draft. They selected their starting tackles for the next half decade at least with Charles Cross and Abe Lucas, a potential superstar cornerback in Tariq Woolen, a solid slot cornerback in Coby Bryant, a starting defensive end in Boye Mafe, a rookie of the year caliber running back in Kenneth Walker III, and a potential swiss army knife in Dareke Young.
Lesson for Seahawks number 1: Consistently find your depth in the draft
That’s seven rookies that all saw significant snaps by the end of the season for a playoff team. A draft like hasn’t come around for the Seahawks since 2012 when the last all-timer of a draft brought Seattle two NFC championships and a Super Bowl.
It’s impossible for teams to consistently draft 6-7 starters, or multiple hall of famers in every draft class, but the key is to consistently draft two or three guys that can come in and contribute every year. Only hitting on one guy, maybe two each year, is not sustainable to be a contender. This is something the Seahawks failed to do for nearly a decade.
When you take a look at the Chiefs and Eagles, these are two franchises that have been able to consistently add talent and depth, avoiding the “bust” drafts. The Chiefs will likely have seven rookies that will see significant time in the Super Bowl. In 2016 and 2017, the Chiefs drafted their core stars in Chris Jones, Tyreek Hill and Patrick Mahomes to pair with up and coming TE Travis Kelce.
Each year since those massive hauls, they’ve consistently added cheap young talent that has produced. Not every year was as successful as this last draft, but the constant influx of 2-3 talented players created a sustainable program that has allowed KC to pay Mahomes, trade Hill, and still get back to the championship.
The Eagles have definitely gone about building a super team in different ways than Kansas City. The secret to their overall success has been dominating in the middle rounds of the draft. The Eagles nailed a number 1 caliber receiver in DeVonta Smith at pick number 10 in the 2021 draft.
They also found gems in Landon Dickerson at pick number 37, and Kenneth Gainwell at pick number 150. In 2020 they busted on Jalen Reagor, but crushed it with finding a franchise QB in Jalen Hurts at pick number 53, as well as offensive weapon Quez Watkins at number 200. The list goes on, Miles Sander in round 2, Josh Sweat in round 4, Isaac Seumalo in round 3.
The LOB era was built on consistently finding contributors all throughout the draft or in UDFA, and while Seattle dominated this past draft, to get to the level of the Eagles and Chiefs, they’ll need to consistently hit those singles and doubles to open, and extend competitive windows.