Looking at the Draft: Seattle Seahawks

In yet another saga of a terrific coach that makes terrible decisions in the War Room come draft weekend, Mike Holmgren and the Seahawks hoped to change the trend of what has been a lot of misses in the early rounds and collect a few solid players to help push them into the realm of a playoff team. The idea for Seattle was to come out of the draft with a starting tight end and defensive end.

Seattle Seahawks

1-Jerramy Stevens/TE/Washignton, 2- Maurice Morris/RB/Oregon, 2- Anton Palepoi/DE/UNLV, 4-Kris Richard/CB/USC, 4-Terreal Bierra/S/Georgia, 5-Rocky Bernard/DL/Texas A&M, 5- Ryan Hannam/TE/Northern Iowa, 5- Matt Hill/T/Boise St, 6- Craig Jarrett/P/Michigan St, 7- Jeff Kelly/QB/ Southern Miss

FA: J.R. Niklos, Jon Pendergrass, T.J. Watkins, De'Andre Lewis, Ryan Van Dyke, Damion Wright

Seattle flirted with the idea of moving into the early part of round one for a shot to draft Joey Harrington but decided the price was to high.  They did try and move up to Tennessee's slot at fourteen, wishing to acquire Jeremy Shockey, but were outbid by the Giants.  In the end, even with three top prospects that could've provided immediate help staring them straight in the face (Dan Graham, Bryan Thomas and Charles Grant) they moved out of the 20th slot and ended up with the 28th pick of round one, which is where the fun began.  

There they made what could be the riskiest pick of the draft since the '96 selection of Lawrence Phillips by the Rams tabbing tight end Jerramy Stevens of Washington.  There are so many things wrong with this selection we don't know where to begin.  The fact that he had as many run-ins with the law (four) as he's had touchdown receptions the past two years sticks out as does the equivalent amount of catches he had as a red-shirt freshman and the number of days he spent in jail following the season (21).  Never-mind the fact that he missed almost half his junior campaign with a broken bone in his foot or that's he's always been a hot-and-cold player for most of his career.  The bottom line is this was an absolutely mind boggling choice that has the potential to blow up in Holmgren's face.  Steven's has amazing  athleticism and upside potential but equally the same abilities to find trouble and make the wrong decision.   

The head-scratching continued into the next frame.  While they needed depth at running back to replace Ricky Watters, selecting Maurice Morris in round two was a reach.  He has nice skills as a situational ball carrier but the Seahawks are not a strong enough organization to expend a pick like this in the top sixty.  Anton Palepoi displayed potential as a pass rusher during his junior campaign but took a step back last year and was chosen two-to-three rounds earlier then his skills warranted.  Factor in the defensive ends passed on in round one and this draft falls farther into the unbelievable.

Kris Richard had been moving up charts prior to the draft but like Palepoi, his best football was prior to his senior campaign and even at his best, Richard was only adequate.  

Terreal Bierra was a solid choice and is a good developmental prospect that could see a lot of action in dime packages as a rookie.  He has starting potential in a year at free safety.  

Defensive lineman Rocky Bernard will offer depth at either tackle or end while Ryan Hannam is not fast or flashy but an efficient prospect that gets the job done and could develop into adequate number two tight end.  Matt Hill will offer competition at offensive tackle and could be headed for the practice squad.

Should he refine his technique and hit the ball with more consistency, Craig Jarrett has a real opportunity to make it, especially since he will play nine games a year in domed stadiums with a tenth at a warm weather location.  

Finally Jeff Kelly is very indicative of this draft; it makes you wonder what the heck Seattle was thinking.  Kelly was a good college signal caller that made plays with his head more than anything else.  He barely had the arm for college, he probably doesn't have the arm for NFL Europe, he definitely does not have the arm to play on Sunday's.

To say this draft is of the "boom or bust" variety would be a major understatement.  While working at the draft on Sunday someone said it best exclaiming, "The Seahawks started their draft in the third round!"  Unless we are way off this draft coupled with the players that were passed on will come back and haunt the organization.

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