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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



April 29, 2012 at 9:53 AM

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Seahawks' draft class panned by the pundits

Mel Kiper of ESPN got out his crayons to grade the draft classes of the various NFL teams. It's available only to Insiders, so you need an account to access this link, but the lowest grade went to the Seahawks: C-.

Now, I'm not going to rail on the grade inflation of the American school system that has no creeped into NFL draft evaluation (but seriously how can the lowest grade be a little below average?). I'm also not going to touch Kiper's hair, and not out of fear that my hand would stick given the copious amounts of product present, but the fact that people who wear a haircut that has been described as the "Merm" (as I have) ought not cast stones.

Let's get to the meat of the evaluation, which is something to consider today given the number of grades we're going to see. A draft class takes three years to evaluate on the field, so any instant reaction isn't based on the quality of the players selected, but the perception -- and previous projection -- of the qualities.

Kiper said he had a second-round grade on Irvin. That's his prerogative. The Seahawks believed he was the best pass rusher available. Someone's wrong there, but we simply do not know who yet.

What we can say is the belief that Seattle could have drafted Irvin a round later is problematic at the very least and outright false, if you believe what the Seahawks were told after the selection, which was the Jets were going ot take Irvin at No. 16. Don't believe that? Well, how about the report from Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com when he reported that multiple teams -- like seven of them -- had Irvin regarded as one of the top 15 prospects available in this draft.

It's similar to the reaction last year after the Seahawks selected offensive tackle James Carpenter at No. 25. Those who said Seattle could have got him in the second round don't know that for sure, and in fact, the Seahawks have a pretty firm indication the Steelers and Packers were both fairly fond of him.

Kiper also said the Seahawks selected Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner a round early. Again, that's his prerogative, but Wagner would not have been available in the third round. Not if Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was being honest as he said his team would have picked Wagner in the second round.

So what are people saying about Seattle's draft class? Well, take a look:

SiteAnalyst Seahawks grade
ESPN.comMel Kiper Jr.Report card (Insider only)C-
Kiper: "The needs were met outside of wide receiver, but in terms of maximizing value, there are huge questions."
CBS SportsPete PriscoReport cardC+
Prisco: "They made a questionable move at the top with Irvin, bounced back by taking Wagner, but then took Russell Wilson in the third when they just signed Matt Flynn. Why?"
NFLDraftScout.comRob RangReport cardC
Rang: "Drafting a specialist at No. 15 is a stretch but despite boasting a very good defense on first and second down a year ago, Seattle's lack of pass rush has killed them in recent years."
CNNSI.comChris BurkeReport cardC
Burke: "QB Russell Wilson has a bright future, even if Seattle didn't really need him. Everything else was … very … blah."


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