It was quite an eventful year for the Seattle Seahawks. They canned their coach and started over with Pete Carroll, had a big draft with Earl Thomas and Russell Okung at the front end, and overcame a mediocre season to close strong, win a weak division, and put on one of the more exhilarating playoff performances is recent memory with a dismantling of the defending champion Saints. But let’s not kid ourselves. Playoff appearance or not, this team has plenty of holes. Indeed, our man Brian of HawkBlogger, a fantastic Seahawks blog (follow him on Twitter @HawkBlogger), enlightened us that the greater Emerald City region was actually entertaining debate last December as to whether a playoff run or higher draft position was more appealing. (You know which way I came down on that, and if you don’t, you just haven’t been around here enough. HELLO. YOU PLAY. TO WIN. THE GAME.) At any rate, we’re very curious to see how a rebuilding project that began in such promising fashion continues into 2011. Questions abound, and you know we’re getting to the big one first…
Q: First, the 600-lb gorilla. Quarterback in the first round? If so, which one(s) are you hoping for?
A: Not to be all self-promoting out of the gate, but I just wrote that taking a QB in the first round not named Gabbert or Newton would be a mistake. Hitching your wagon to a guy who is almost certainly not first round talent in the first round is almost never a good idea. Finding a guy in the 2nd or 3rd is less fatalistic (e.g., would Carolina be drafting a QB #1 if Clausen was a 1st rounder last year? I think not), and I think anyone in the Kaepernick, Locker, Dalton, Ponder, Mallett group would be an acceptable risk in those rounds. My personal preference is Kaepernick because he’s got the same ceiling as these other guys, but seems to be getting discounted due to poor mechanics which makes it more likely we can nab him later.
Q: Other than QB, what is the one position they absolutely must address in the first 3 rounds?
A: One? Have you seen the Hawks roster? If they don’t end up with a QB, an OL (either interior or tackle) and a DL in the first three rounds, it will be low-grade draft. How you draft three players with only two picks in those rounds is another question entirely. If you really want one, I’d like to see a DT or 5-technique DE to create depth behind big Red Bryant.
Q: Who is your favorite late round guy that you think would be a perfect fit?
A: I don’t know if James Brewer is exactly late round, but I think he could be a decent RT mauler. Colin McCarthy is a guy I hope falls to the Seahawks who desperately need a ILB prospect to help put Tatupu out to pasture.
Q: In retrospect, how would you answer that “playoffs or draft position” question?
A: Two words: Beast Quake.
Q: What would a good 2011 Seahawks draft look like, in your opinion?
A: It’s a classic quantity vs. quality question. If there is a Top 12 talent that slides to the Seahawks at #25 who can be an impact starter for years to come, you draft him. Outside of that, this draft will be graded on the teams ability to add good players to the pile. They need a 3rd round pick in a bad way. In a glass half-full sort of way, the Seahawks are “blessed” with enough holes on the roster that good players at any position outside of special teams, safety and tight end would be welcome additions.