The 2009 NFL Draft was one of the most interesting Drafts in recent memory for Seahawk fans. Was that because of the Mark Sanchez hype? Maybe it was the consistent Oakland Raiders' bungling of draft picks. But most likely it was the fact that Seattle was selecting in the Top 5 for the first time since 1997.
The Seahawks were sitting pretty with the 4th overall pick and in position to drastically change the direction of the franchise, especially if they took a QB. In the end, it was Wake Forest OLB Aaron Curry's name that went across the ticker for the Seattle. In a few years everyone will look back at this Draft and determine who was right, and who was Oakland. But in the meantime here's a look at who the Seahawks took in the 2009 Draft and some other Draft notes.
Seattle 2009 NFL Draft Class
Round 1, 4th overall: Aaron Curry, OLB Wake Forest
The Butkus award winner may be the safest pick in the Draft, Curry has the size, speed and instincts of a great 4-3 OLB. He is solid in coverage, physical against the run and should have more opportunities as a pass rusher in Seattle than he was asked to do in college. He also had good hands, as evidenced by his 6 career INTs and 3 TDs returned. Curry also possesses the character that Seahawks GM Tim Ruskell covets, making him that much more attractive to the team. Curry will start immediately and has Pro Bowl talent.
Round 2, 49th overall: C Max Unger, Oregon
After trading the 37th overall pick to the Denver Broncos for their #1 in 2010, Seattle traded back into the 2nd Round and grabbed Unger, a player with tremendous versatility. Oregon's starting LT in '05 and '06 was moved to center in '07 and '08 where he was named 1st Team All Pac 10 in '07, 2nd Team All Pac 10 in '08 and was named 1st Team All American by Sports Illustrated. Although he needs to get stronger, Unger's athleticism and ability to pull and trap make him a great fit for Seattle's zone blocking scheme. He'll immediately compete for time at G and C.
Round 3, 91st overall: Deon Butler, WR Penn State
For the first time since 2001, the Seahawks select a receiver in the first three rounds of the Draft. Butler doesn't have impressive size (5'11" 180), but he's got legit 4.4 speed and solid hands. He might be tried at returning kicks and punts until he acclimates himself to the NFL. Despite his timed speed, Butler doesn't get deep often and might be best as a slot WR.
Round 5, 178th overall: Mike Teel, QB Rutgers
Inconsistent QB who didn't have the senior year many thought he would have. However, Teel has good size, a decent arm and has played in a pro-style offense. He's shown ability, but needs to do it more consistently. He'll likely be Seattle's 3rd QB for the season or get a year on the practice squad.
Round 7, 245th overall: Courtney Greene, SS Rutgers
Big hitter who played both FS and SS for the Scarlet Knights. Has decent size at 6'0" 210, but isn't strong in coverage. Greene looks to be a backup that might get a roster shot with if he can excel on special teams.
Round 7 247th overall: Nick Reed, DE Oregon
Oregon's all-time sack leader, Reed was a productive DE edge rusher. However, at 245 pounds, it's unclear where the Seahawks will play him. Is he a nickel DE? A stand-up edge rusher in certain packaged? Will they try him at MLB? One thing's for sure, this kid is a football player that could be another backup DE/LB that has a prominent special teams role.
Round 7, 248th overall: Cameron Morrah, TE Cal
Doesn't have the size to be a full-time blocking TE, which raises the question as to what role he'll play for the 'Hawks. He might be tried at an H-back-type position. Seattle had great success with former FB Leonard Weaver, who also was a TE in college. Morrah has decent speed and very solid hands. His playing time will depend on his blocking ability.
Devin Moore, RB Wyoming: Speedy back must overcome small stature to earn a spot.
Michael Bennett, DE Texas A&M: Prototype size, but lacks speed to be a pass rusher.
Tyler Roehl, RB North Dakota State: Tremendous production and can catch the ball. FB or RB?
Dave Philistin, ILB Maryland: Is decent in all areas, but isn't special anywhere.
Andre Ramsey, OT Ball State: Decent size and produced, but isn't a very good athlete.
2009 Draft Notes
- Seriously, Oakland? I honestly thought that this may be the year owner Al Davis breaks his old, and almost never effective, strategy of drafting for speed. But with the 7th overall pick and with the Draft's best WR, Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree, still on the board, the Raiders select 4.30 speed-demon Darrius Heyward-Bey. I don't care how in love with speed you are, you just can't make mistakes like that year after year.
However, Oakland outdid themselves in Round 2 when they selected Ohio University S Michael Mitchell, a player almost no one's ever heard of, let alone was a reach. Let me say that again, most Draft analysts have never heard of him! If they were that in love with Mitchell, they should have taken him in Round 5 or 6, etc. Taking him with their 2nd Round pick was just another reason this team won't be successful until Al Davis is gone.
- I'm not sure the Denver Broncos are heading in the right direction. I loved the Knowshon Moreno pick and think he'll be successful there, but DE Robert Ayers just doesn't look like a good 3-4 fit to me. Some like him at OLB, but I just don't see him in a two-point stance. But Denver's biggest reach might have been trading next year's Round 1 pick to move up and get CB Alphonso Smith. Don't get me wrong, I like Smith, but giving a #1 next year (where the talent is supposed to be deeper and more talented) doesn't seem like a good move. This alone would have been hard to swallow, but to do it after the Jay Cutler fiasco certainly raises some questions.
- Changing the Round 1 time limit from 15 to 10 minutes was a great idea, but I'd like to see the 3rd Round be a part of the first day again.
- Seattle- Getting LB Aaron Curry and C Max Unger in Rounds 1 and 2, respectively, would have been great on their own. But getting a Round 1 pick in 2010 from Denver was genius. Without a solid QB and switching from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4, that pick could very well be in the Top 15 next season.
- Philadelphia- The Eagles just got a whole lot better on offense. WR Jeremy Maclin was highlight waiting to happen at Missouri, whether as a WR or in the return game. Now QB Donovan McNabb has another burner to go with last year's rookie sensation, DeSean Jackson. RB LeSean McCoy needs to pass block better, but he'll get the opportunity to be a special player in that offense. Perhaps the best move was shipping off a Round 1 pick for Pro Bowl LT Jason Peters, who is young and should continue to get better.
- Detroit- QB Matt Stafford was arguably the best QB in the Draft and has solid potential. TE Brandon Pettigrew won't stretch the field, but he'll be an Alge Crumpler-like player, acting as a security blanket for Stafford and blocking like an extra tackle. S Louis Delmas should start immediately, too.
- Buffalo- DE Aaron Maybin should help as a nickel pass rusher right away, but their later picks were just as impressive. C Eric Wood had been moving up boards for months, CB Jairus Byrd should be solid in nickel packages, G Andy Levitre was the #1 guard on many boards and TE Shawn Nelson has solid all-around skills.
- Chicago- Factoring in QB Jay Cutler, you could argue that the Bears had a terrific Draft. DT Jarron Gilbert add talent to the DT rotation, WR Juaquin Iglesias should contribute as a rookie, CB D.J. Moore has talent, but needs more consistency and OLB Marcus Freeman was thought to go much higher than the 5th Round.