Why didn't the Seahawks take a cornerback? A running back in the first round? These are some of the questions the national media are asking while dishing out many 'C's for Seattle on their draft report cards. Here's what they're saying.
“I’ve done this nearly 40 years, and 35 years with ESPN. The drafting of Shaquem Griffin (pick 141) was one of the most memorable moments I can remember … He was also a steal! I thought Griffin could come off the board in Round 3. He accurately pointed out that Seattle can be creative on defense and find a good role for him. I agree.
Round 1 | Pick 27 | No. 27 overall (via GB)RB Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Round 3 | Pick 12 | No. 79 overall (via PIT)DL Rasheem Green, USC
Round 4 | Pick 20 | No. 120 overallTE Will Dissly, Washington
Round 5 | Pick 4 | No. 141 overallOLB Shaquem Griffin, Central Florida
Round 5 | Pick 9 | No. 146 overallDB Tre Flowers, Oklahoma State
Round 5 | Pick 12 | No. 149 ovr (via DEN)P Michael Dickson, Texas
Round 5 | Pick 31 | No. 168 overallOT Jamarco Jones, Ohio State
Round 6 | Pick 12 | No. 186 overall (via GB)LB/DL Jacob Martin, Temple
Round 7 | Pick 2 | No. 220 overall (via PIT)QB Alex McGough, Florida International
Now to the question marks. I like Rashaad Penny (27), but even after adding value by trading down, I saw him as a reach. … [They] added a player I really like in Rasheem Green (79). Cliff Avril is coming off an injury-plagued season and will be 32 years old. Green can really help and is a young guy with upside. Will Dissly (140) is depth at tight end, and he’s the best blocking tight end in this draft. Michael Dickson (149) is a potential Pro Bowl punter, and Jamarco Jones(168) has experience and upside on the offensive line, though I could practically hear the Seattle fans in Dallas wondering why the Seahawks waited so long to address the O-line. They have a point.
Not a bad draft overall, I just wonder if they could do more with the first-round pick, and the loss of that second-rounder hurt.”
“Drafting a running back is an odd way to kick off your massive rebuilding project on defense, but let’s remember: the better the ground game, the more effective an offense will be with a QB like Russell Wilson. … Since so many of Seattle’s recent early round selections have been offensive linemen, finding a ballcarrier was the surest way to buttress the rushing attack. The people who like Rashaad Penny really like him.
The Seahawks stayed on offense with their fourth-round pick, as well, filling their enormous tight end void (or, more likely, just part of it) with Will Dissly. … What’s shocking is that not one of those mid-round picks was a cornerback, the team’s greatest need entering this draft, even though the Seahawks have had success with those selections in past years.
And Shaquem Griffin: What a tremendous feel-good story. But feel-good stories don’t impact winning or losing in the NFL, and Griffin is too respectable of a player for his selection to not be analyzed by the same standards as everyone else. … the Griffin choice appears to be about finding long-term depth. Though given that three-fourths of Seattle’s defensive contributors are nearing the ends of their contracts, a long-term depth guy might have to be a short-term starter come 2019.”
No grade, but the “Well, They’re Certainly Doing It Their Way” award
“As the league trends toward pass-dominant, spread-offense football, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll seems intent on taking his team in the other direction. … Both [new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and new offensive line coach Mike Solari] have been tasked with recapturing the essence of Seattle’s offensive identity: smashmouth football. … The team’s 2018 draft followed the same narrative. With its first-round pick, Seattle took San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny, a move that most analysts considered a reach. … In the fourth round, Seattle reached again … And in the fifth, the Seahawks nabbed Ohio State offensive lineman Jamarco Jones, another blocker who could reinforce the rushing attack. … Taken as a whole, it’s clear that the top 2018 priority for Carroll and Co. is to build a balanced offense—or at least one that doesn’t force quarterback Russell Wilson to be the team’s leading rusher again this fall.”
Day 1 grade: D
Day 2 grade: B
Day 3 grade: B-
Overall grade: C
“There was zero surprise the Seahawks traded down, as they expected their guys to be available later. Penny is a good back but picked too early. This is the modus operandi for the Seahawks in recent years, picking someone in the first round much earlier than most people project. And, in most cases, the picks haven’t worked out. Seattle lost its second-round pick in a trade for Sheldon Richardson, which only turned out to be an unsuccessful one-year deal. Selecting Green in the third round was good value, and could be a steal like Michael Bennett was years ago. He should be a better pro player than he was in college. Dissly is a blocker with some receiving skills. Getting Griffin not only reunited him with his twin brother, it added quickness and aggressiveness to the defense. Flowers is a very Seahawks-like pick — big and strong like another fifth-round pick, Kam Chancellor. GM John Schneider traded a seventh-round pick away for the draft’s top punter in Dickson, who some thought could have been a Day 2 pick. He’s a good value and filled a need. Jones could start in a year or two given the offensive line issues. No corners or receivers selected puts Seattle in a hole at those spots after the draft.”
“Who blocks for Russell Wilson? That is the overarching theme of the draft for the Seahawks. That’s the lead storyline for Seattle. The secondary one taking running back Rashaad Penny in the first round. The system fit is obvious, and if it happened in the second round it would’ve been fine. but taking him at No. 27 was a stunner. … If the can be coached up properly, third round pick Rasheem Green was a solid pick up in the third round.
… the story of Griffin is obviously a great one. But as good as the story is, he’s a better football player. He can be put at safety or linebacker and make plays. I liked the pick of punter Michael Dickson, the best specialist in the draft this year. Moving up for him was a little odd. But again, who blocks for Russell Wilson?”
Jamarco Jones: One of the 10 biggest steals of the draft
“Jones was a first team All-Big Ten pick in 2017, and was viewed as a good NFL prospect. Then after he had a poor NFL Combine, he slid into the fifth round. He was part of a winning culture at Ohio State, and could help turn the Seahawks’ offensive line around and keep Russell Wilson upright.”
“It’s fine if Seattle wanted RB Rashaad Penny, but the Seahawks probably didn’t need to use the No. 27 overall selection to get him. The defense is in serious transition and the Seahawks didn’t begin addressing that until the third round. Using a fifth-round pick on LB Shaquem Griffin not only is a feel-good story; it also could turn out to be a meaningful addition.”
“Maybe the Seahawks were simply reading PFF, who have been telling people that Penny is a first-round talent for some time. His production was outstanding, but his numbers were impressive even on a per-carry basis, not simply due to workload. … The Seahawks didn’t pick again until the third round, and they brought in defensive lineman Rasheem Green from USC. … With the Seahawks looking to add pressure up front, Green represents an intriguing player to add to the mix. …OT Jamarco Jones in the fifth round is also a steal, and they got the best punter prospect in the draft too in Michael Dickson.”
“John Schneider wasn’t totally wrong to think Penny could be special enough to draft in the first round, but it was a weird luxury pick for a team with major needs elsewhere. It was crazy for Seattle not to take a cornerback at some point. Griffin might end up being the best pick of the bunch as a pursuit linebacker and situational pass-rusher. Dickson was needed to displace an aging Jon Ryan, but a trade-up was unnecessary. The Seahawks also waited too long to think about offensive line. They drafted too much like a contender instead of a rebuilder.”
Steal of the draft: Shaquem Griffin
“… at worst, a solid situational player who will contribute on defense and special teams. If Griffin performs like he did in college, Seattle will get a lot more.”