This could be one of the toughest picks to call in the entire draft. Seattle has needs at tight end, defensive tackle and along the offensive line. They also might look to get a running back and a wideout as well.
Balmer was very inconsistent at North Carolina, having one big year before he left Chapel Hill, while Keller is a one-dimensional player whose value has been overrated because of how he did at the combine in shorts and a T-shirt. If he was as good as people claim, he would have had the hype beforehand. He appears to be a Mike Mamula type to me – a workout warrior who doesn’t live up the hype that one workout creates. He’s got considerable receiving skills, but his blocking is non-existent and he’s only average at getting separation.
On the other hand, Baker is solid in every facet of the game. He’s not as talented as Jake Long and he doesn’t have the huge upside of Chris Williams or Ryan Clady, but his four years of starting experience plus his technical skills make him a solid prospect to look at with the 25th pick.
Baker has good feet and he can play on either side of the line. He’s been at left tackle for the Trojans, but he could allow Sean Locklear to eventually move over to take Walter Jones’ spot when the Hall-of-Famer finally decides to call it quits. Seattle also needs to add some depth after the departure of Tom Ashworth.
Yes, this will probably be seen as a reach, but Seattle needs to add another top tackle prospect and I believe Baker fits that bill.
Alternate Theory: As Doug stated in the first article of this series, Seattle could very well be looking to pick up extra selection and either trade down in the first round or drop into the second. Then Seattle would have its choice of players depending on where they end up selecting. Someone like Nebraska OT Carl Nicks, Notre Dame DT Trevor Laws, Auburn DT Pat Sims or even LSU WR Early Doucet with their first selection would be solid a few selections lower.
Don’t rule out the chance Seattle looks to bring in the top safety in the Draft if they stay at 25. Miami’s Kenny Phillips is a player Seattle could use as an athletic backup in his first season and then look to push either Deon Grant or Brian Russell for the starting spot in 2009.
This pick makes so much sense it’s ridiculous.
Talk about a player that is tailor-made for the West Coast offense. Henne is a player that teams have started to really fall in love with. He’s got a strong arm, he throws a very catchable ball and he’s smart.
At the Senior Bowl, Henne ran a West Coast attack and at Michigan he put up solid numbers in a pro style offense that called for him to be smart with the ball.
Jim Mora seems to love the West Coast offense and Mike Holmgren is one of the founding fathers of the most prolific offensive scheme to ever influence the NFL. Henne would benefit from being able to sit behind Matt Hasselbeck for two or even three years while the latter likely finishes his stellar Seahawks career.
Alternate Theory: Seattle addresses either the defensive tackle or tight end position at this point. Fred Davis, who is a better blocker and a more complete player than Keller should still be available or Seattle could take a chance on Texas A&M’s Martellus Bennett.
At defensive tackle, Sims may still be available or Seattle could move up and select Laws or they could even look at taking a running back late in the second.
Third round, 86th pick overall – John Carlson, TE, Notre Dame
After he impressed at his pro day workout, Carlson moved up many Draft boards so he may not fall this far. However, if Seattle opts to fill other needs, he would be an ideal candidate right here if he’s still available.
Carlson is an excellent athlete who is an above-average blocker, but he lacks elite speed so he doesn’t get the sort of separation to set him apart as a receiver. His run-after-the catch skills are outstanding though and he is very physical, something Seattle has lacked from their tight ends over the past couple years.
Another player who could go here is Tennessee TE Brad Cottam, but his injury issues are a concern. Texas’ Jermichael Finley is another player who, should he fall a bit because of his inexperience, might get a long look from the Seahawks at this position.
Alternate Theory: Seattle needs a young runner to bring along. Players like T.J. Duckett and Julius Jones are just stop-gap guys who are better role-players than feature backs. The reason the Seahawks signed them is because they wanted to eliminate that need heading into the Draft.
I don’t have the man-crush that Doug has on Jamie Silva, but I wouldn’t be upset if the Seahawks decided to go that direction. I don’t think they will, however.
If someone with Bowman’s skills is available, I think you have to go that way. He’s got great size and excellent hands. What he doesn’t have is elite top-end speed. However, in Seattle’s offense, you don’t necessarily need that to be successful.
Bowman already runs relatively crisp routes and he’s adept at blocking and he’s got strong hands. He has some lapses in concentration at times, but he’s a solid pick with the 121st overall selection.
Alternate Theory: The Seahawks continue to build depth along either the offensive or defensive line. Marcus Dixon out of Hampton is a player I’m very intrigued by. He has good size and can play a number of positions, but he’s probably a better fit at defensive end.
Sixth round, 189th overall – Athyba Rubin, DT, Iowa State
If Rubin is here and the Seahawks haven’t taken a defensive tackle, he’s the guy. He’s got great bulk and he’s got a very quick first step. He won’t collapse the pocket, but what he will do is occupy blockers with his strength and wide base. That will allow players like Julian Peterson and Lofa Tatupu to run free and wreak havoc on offenses.
Alternate Theory: Seattle gets their defensive tackle in the first or second round and addresses depth in the secondary or in the backfield here. There are lots of good scat-backs available in this year’s draft and a great late-round find would be either Missouri RB Tony Temple or Colorado RB Hugh Charles.
Seattle needs a kicker, so why not pull the best one available in the Draft and likely one of the best come out of college in the last five years?
Coutu has a strong leg despite injuries to his hamstrings and he’s very accurate.
Alternate Theory: Seattle adds another tight end to the mix late on day two in the hopes he can make the final roster as a blocker ala Ryan Hannam. Joseph Tuineau from Southeast Missouri, with his size (6-8, 288) and speed make him a guy who could work his way into being another tackle on the field.