What people are saying about the Seahawks’ draft class

I’ve been saying for the past couple of years that the immediate draft grade for every NFL team should be “incomplete.” As in…

John Boyle’s 2013 NFL Draft Grades

Seattle—incomplete

San Francisco—incomplete

Arizona—incomplete

St. Louis—incomplete

etc.

Yet even if that is the most accurate approach, it’s not as fun as making knee-jerk reactions. So let’s take a look at what the pundits are saying about this Seahawks draft class. At first glance, it seems to me the grades are a little better than in the past, which I suspect has less to do with the national folks actually liking Seattle’s draft better, but rather for fear of looking bad if/when John Schneider and Pete Carroll’s unconventional moves make people who ripped them look bad down the road. Just last year, a lot of folks were killing the Seahawks for their draft, but their first-round “reach” Bruce Irvin had more sacks than any other rookie, second-round pick Bobby Wagner was the starting middle linebacker on the defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL, and all third-round pick Russell Wilson did was win the starting job, tie the Peyton Manning’s rookie record with 26 touchdowns and play in the Pro Bowl. But yeah, let’s go ahead and pretend we can make sense of the draft a day or two after it ends.

Rob Rang of CBSSports.com (and in many people’s opinion, one of the best draft prognosticators out there) gives Seattle a B, saying the Seahawks made several intriguing picks late:

The Seahawks traded away their first-round selection to the Vikings for Percy Harvin, so that addition must be mentioned in this analysis. The multi-purpose Harvin is among the NFL’s most dynamic weapons and certainly would have earned a higher pick in this draft than the No. 25 overall selection. Once on the clock, however, the Seahawks surprised, nabbing running back Christine Michael with the last selection of the second round. They were criticized a year ago for taking a pass-rushing specialist in Bruce Irvin with the No. 15 overall pick. This year, they traded down before nabbing another surprise in Michael. The former Aggie offers more natural talent than Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch. But to warrant this selection, he’ll need to show improved dedication and durability. Defensive tackle Jordan Hillis a high-motor plugger who’ll provide some pass rush from the interior on passing downs. Of their nine selections on Day Three, expect the most noise to be heard from wide receiverChris Harper, defensive tackle Jesse Williams and cornerback Tharold Simon. Harper is a big-bodied wideout who shields defenders from the ball and possesses sneaky overall athleticism. Williams’ short arms and medical questions pushed him down the board, but he is a stout run defender with experience on the nose and as a five-technique defensive end. Simon has the length and physicality that Seattle likes at cornerback. The Seahawks made several intriguing picks late with athletic tight end Luke Willson perhaps the most likely to stick as a threat down the seam. Grade: B

Fox Sports has three different analysts give grades, and they all are fairly positive, with Peter Schrager having the funniest comment, saying that, after giving Seattle an F last year, he is “done questioning John Schneider. Until he proves us otherwise, he gets an A.”

Floyd Engel: (A-ish) They did not have a first-rounder, and these are always harder to grade. But running back Christine Michael (pictured, standing) is a great add.

Marvez: (B-) They traded their first-round pick to Minnesota for wide receiver Percy Harvin. On a deep roster, Seattle’s 11 selections will likely begin their NFL careers as backups or practice squad members.

Schrager: (A) If Harvin is considered their first-round pick, you have to love what the Seahawks did in the first round. I gave their draft an “F” last year. That same draft netted Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson. I’m done questioning John Schneider. Until he proves us otherwise, he gets an A.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper, who was very critical of Seattle’s picks last year, gives them

Kiper Jr.’s give: “I don’t know that Seattle added a starter among their picks, but they certainly added one in Percy Harvin.”

Kiper’s full grades require an ESPN insider account, but Mike Sando has a breakdown of his NFC West thoughts on his blog.

Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated gives the Seahawks a B-, and calls the pick of DT Jesse Williams in the fifth round Seattle’s best move.

Seattle used its Round 1 pick to acquire Percy Harvin, so it had to wait until pick 62 to get working. Actually, the Seahawks’ best decisions came at 137 (DT Jesse Williams) and 138 (CB Tharold Simon). The Seahawks had a roster built to roll the dice a bit in the draft, and that’s just what they did with their first three picks. Grade: B-minus

USA Today gives the Seahawks a C+ and says Schneider gambled taking RB Christine Michael in the second round, but also admits Schneider usually looks good at the end of the day.

Let’s start by admitting that GM John Schneider ends up looking like the genius at the end of the day, which he obviously proved with a watershed 2012 crop highlighted by third-round QB Russell Wilson. Not that he cares what we think, but it appears Scheider is gambling on second-round RB Christine Michael and fifth-round CB Tharold Simon. Both are talented, neither is necessarily reliable off the field, nor do they fill needs … though in fairness, there are very few needs on this club. NT Jesse Williams (Round 5) could be Schneider’s latest mid-round masterpiece. And let’s not forget, their first-round pick was spent on WR/KR Percy Harvin, a talent Schneider certainly would not have found at No. 25, though a player who wore out his welcome in Minnesota. GRADE: C+

The Sporting News goes with a B- grade for Seattle, saying:

Having already taken care of their major immediate holes in free agency, the Seahawks could just take intriguing projects with all 11 picks, including two running backs, Texas A&M’s Christine Michael and LSU’s Spencer Ware. Kansas State’s Chris Harpercan develop into a good possession receiver. They did come away with needed defensive tackle depth (Penn State’s Jordan Hill, Alabama’s Jesse Williams).

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