Saturday Spotlight - 2004 Draft Review

As we begin to close the lights on our 2004 Draft coverage, "Saturday Spotlight" author Ryan Rigmaiden opines on who the Seahawks picked...and who they may have missed.

Woulda, shoulda, coulda. That’s what every Draft evaluation is at this point. You can’t grade and evaluate a Draft a day, week or even a year after it’s happened. Players grow and improve at different speeds. For a select few, the light will click on early and they’ll have success as a rookie. However, for the most part, it’ll take some time for rookies to get acclimated to the NFL. After last year’s rookie tandem of CB Marcus Trufant and FS Ken Hamlin, Seattle fans are a bit spoiled. They/We think that we can just throw a rookie into the starting lineup and have success. It doesn’t work that way. For every Trufant and Hamlin, there’s a Troy Polamalu or Andre Woolfolk.

That being said, from a talent standpoint it’s clear that some NFL teams have acquired more talent than their counterparts over the weekend. Being that Seattle had so much flexibility heading into Draft weekend, it’s not shocking to see a few surprises on our Draft card. I’m willing to bet that most of us didn’t know who Niko Koutouvides and Craig Terrill even were before Sunday, let alone predicted them to end up in Seattle.

The following is a round-by-round review of last weekend’s happenings for the Seahawks.

Round 1.
Who we got - #23 Marcus Tubbs, DT Texas
No surprise with this pick. The ‘Hawks were looking to upgrade their DT unit and at #23, Tubbs was the best available. Tubbs has the talent to contribute as a rookie and will immediately improve the DT rotation.

Who we could’ve gotten - Steven Jackson, RB Oregon State
Jackson is the only other player on the board I would’ve taken, other than Tubbs. With Shaun Alexander heading into the last year of his contract and Jackson, easily the best RB in the Draft, slipping into Seattle’s lap, Jackson would’ve been a nice pick.

Who I would’ve preferred - Marcus Tubbs, DT Texas
I can’t argue at all with Tubbs’ selection. He’s a great fit for our defense and is a nice example of value fitting need.

Round 2.
Who we got - #53 Michael Boulware, OLB/SS Florida State
Boulware will be switched to SS after playing LB for the ‘Noles the past three years. He clearly has the talent to make the switch and the ‘Hawks even considered trading up to get him. Boulware instantly upgrades our talent and depth at safety, another position Seattle’s front office was focusing on upgrading.

Who we could’ve gotten - Sean Jones, S Georgia, Antwan Odom, DE Alabama, Darnell Dockett, DT Florida State
Unaware that Seattle was definitely moving Boulware to SS, I was pulling for Jones, a very solid safety that would’ve looked great next to Hamlin. However, now that we know Boulware will be lining up in the secondary, I’m very content with our 2nd Round pick. Jones may have more success early in his career than Boulware, but Boulware’s a solid pick and has potential to have great success in our defense.

Who I would’ve preferred - Sean Jones, S Georgia
As I said, I’m happy to have Boulware, but I was enamored with the idea of taking Jones. I think he’s going to be a very solid player and, unlike Boulware, we wouldn’t have to worry about a position change. It’s clear that Michael Boulware has the talent to make such a switch, but players have much more success moving closer to the line-of-scrimmage (i.e. Dexter Coakley, Brian Urlacher) than they have moving further away from it.

Round 3.
Who we got - #84 Sean Locklear, G North Carolina State
Versatile O-lineman that will challenge for a starting job sooner, rather than later. Locklear’s a bit raw, but he’s mobile, smart and is a solid pass blocker. I like him as a player and believe he could be a very solid starter, but I also think we could’ve selected a better player. Despite my objections, Locklear provides our offensive line with tremendous flexibility and it’s hard to argue with that.

Who we could’ve gotten - Matt Ware, CB/UCLA, Will Poole, CB USC
Very surprised to see Ware and Poole still on the board, I would’ve been happy with either of them. I’m fully aware that we’ve acquired CB Bobby Taylor and that CB isn’t a big need right now, but Taylor isn’t the youngest guy around and Ken Lucas isn’t a lock to be given a new contract next year. Ware or Poole would’ve been nice insurance and were very highly rated players that shouldn’t have been on the board.

Who I would’ve preferred- Ware or Poole
Locklear’s a very nice pick, and definitely a safer pick than Ware or Poole, but guards can be found later on Draft day (see Floyd Womack). Ware’s size, skill and upside definitely warranted a 3rd Round pick. Although he’s a bit of a CB/S tweener, he’s easily worth the risk. Poole had some attitude problems in college and only really played a one full year, but he’s a heck of a talent. Either player was rated higher on my board and made more sense to me with our 3rd Round pick. Think of it this way, I’m willing to bet that Ware or Poole will have much more success than recent 3rd rounders Heath Evans and Kris Richard.

Round 4.
Who we got- #116 Niko Koutouvides, ILB Purdue
I was very surprised when we made this pick. I love Koutouvides’ hustle and determination, but I can’t see him being anything more than a backup. He reminds me a lot of Kacyvenski because he’s all about effort and lacks elite physical skills. I didn’t see the logic in selecting him because we already have two players capable of being two-down run stoppers, Orlando Huff and Solomon Bates. Expect him to make his mark on special teams.

Who we could’ve gotten - Ernest Wilford, WR Virginia Tech, Chad Lavalais, DT LSU, Jacob Bell, G Miami (OH)
Either of these players would’ve been better picks, in my opinion. Wilford has a ton of potential and has a body reminiscent of Terrell Owens. Lavalais has a huge college resume and would’ve been a nice addition, even considering we already got Tubbs. Jacob Bell is very similar to Sean Locklear, a versatile O-lineman that’s been moving up boards since the Senior Bowl.

Who I would’ve preferred - Wilford or Lavalais
I believe either of these guys would’ve been better picks simply because I don’t think Koutouvides is starting potential. Wilford is as raw as they come, but he’s big, physical and will only get better. Lavalais brings awesome pass rushing potential as a DT and at worst would’ve provided nice depth at DT.

Round 5.
Who we got - #157 D.J. Hackett, WR Colorado
I like this pick. Hackett’s a true talent, and probably the reason our front office didn’t take a shot at Wilford. This kid can out-jump anyone for the ball, has decent speed and runs good routes. Hackett didn’t receive much publicity because he only had one big year at Colorado, but he has potential. He’ll battle for the 4th receiver spot with Alex Bannister and Taco Wallace right away, but probably only see special teams duty as a rookie. He’s also a likely candidate to replace WR Bobby Engram as Seattle’s long-term 3rd receiver.

Who we could’ve gotten - P.K. Sam, WR Florida State, Kelly Butler, OT Purdue
I definitely thought both of these players would be off the board by the 4th Round and would’ve been happier with either of them. Sam has #2 potential if he can mature. Butler was all over Draft boards and is said to have an attitude problem. However, he has potential to be a solid right tackle and is definitely worthy of a meager 5th Round Draft pick. For the most part, any pick after Round 3 is a crap shoot, so I’m willing to gamble a bit.

Who I would’ve preferred- P.K. Sam
Sam and Hackett are similar players, but I’d rather go with the kid from Florida State. My theory- all things being equal, go with the kid who played at the better program.

Round 6.
Who we got - #189 Craig Terrill, DT Purdue
I’m not even going to pretend to know a thing about this kid. All I can say is that he’s a bit undersized and that I hear he’s a “high effort” guy. That phrase usually translates to “he’s not a great athlete or even a good football player, but he’ll bust his *** for you.”

Who we could’ve gotten - Rashad Washington, S Kansas State, Brian Rimpf, OT East Carolina, Bobby McCray, DE Florida, Demarco McNeil, DT Auburn
Now that we’ve got Tubbs, our DT unit is as follows: Rashad Moore, Cedric Woodard, Marcus Tubbs, Rocky Bernard and Antonio Cochran (I’m predicting a position change). With these guys ahead of him, I can’t see Terrill making the team, let alone having an impact. Because of this, I’d have gladly selected any of the above instead of Terrill.

Who I would’ve preferred - Bobby McCray.
This kid should’ve been long gone by now, but attitude problems knocked him down this far. I don’t care how bad his attitude is, I roll the dice on him here and pray he turns his life around. DE’s with his skill don’t grown on trees and he’s shown flashes of brilliance at times, including at the Senior Bowl. The ‘Hawks lack a pure pass rusher and McCray could’ve been their guy. For some reason, our front office will continue to ignore pass rushers late in the Draft. And for the life of me, I can’t believe nobody rolled the dice on Demarco McNeil, who went undrafted.

Round 7.
Who we got - #224 Donnie Jones, P LSU
Never a sexy pick, but Jones is a fine punter. Nobody was stoked about selecting Josh Brown last year either, but he turned out to be ok. Who cares, anyway? It’s the 7th Round!!!!

Who we could’ve gotten - Rashad Washington, S Kansas State, Bobby McCray, DE Florida, Isaac Hilton, DE Hampton, Carlos Joseph, OT Miami.
Every one of these guys should’ve have been available, but for whatever reason, they could’ve been ‘Hawks. I have to trust our front office in assuming that the above were such attitude problems that they’ve had spent more time in Walla Walla’s prison rather than on our roster, because for the life of me, I can’t see why one of them wasn’t our pick here.

Who I would’ve preferred - Anyone but a punter.
I really hope Jones beats Rouen for the punting job because I hate seeing kickers/punters getting drafted. Most of the time they’re a wasted pick, but, as mentioned before, sometimes you get lucky and snag a decent one (Brown). I’m pulling for ya, Donnie Jones.

P.S. Does anyone else find it hilarious that Punters have their current 40 time next to their name? As if their 40 time might break a tie between two prospects.

Mike Holmgren- “Well, it’s the 7th Round and it’s down to these two punters. Who should I take? Both have pretty good legs and hang time, but which one do I bring to Cheney? Holy hell, this Jones guy runs a 4.85!!! That’s my guy, sprint up to the commissioner with the card!!!”

Ryan Rigmaiden is a regular contributor to Seahawks.NET. Feel free to send him your feedback at Top Stories