Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

NFL Draft Recap 2006: Seattle Seahawks

I did go homer-style and give the Hawks an "A" yesterday. More likely this should have been a B+, but regardless Seattle and Tim Ruskell should get a lot of credit. Let's look at our six draft choices a little more in depth and get an idea about what they could bring to our ball club next year.

Note: When Tim Ruskell says we should be a better team he is right, Dan Boling. Quit your pessimism.

Colin: I read that same article. Might be worth a fisking at some point.

Round One:
Kelly Jennings, CB (Miami)
6'0", 180 lbs, 4.4 40

ESPN's Scouts Inc states that we needed Jennings after making Andre Dyson a "salary cap casualty". Considering that we still have almost 10 million to spend, "salary cap casualty" wasn't the term I would use. We wanted someone a little younger and healthier to play opposite Marcus Trufant. Jennings was Tim Ruskell's top choice for a myriad of reasons. He was probably the most consistent CB on the board, even without the raw talent for example of Virginia Tech's Jimmy Williams. He has a lot of intelligence, demonstrated by his double major (and none in home economics or study of boozology (Colin: or communications)). Tim Ruskell emphasizes on field production and character. Jennings has both in spades. His speed means that we will be able to put him on an island and feel comfortable that he will be able to make a play on the ball. He has long arms that will make him seem taller than he actually is, although 6 foot isn't awful. To me, this all adds up to a player who should be able to contribute immediately. It does take at least a year for a young CB to master the NFL defense, but Jennings has the intelligence to hopefully cut some of that time down. Luckily, the rest of our secondary is solid enough to help him cover for any mistakes. I also like Jennings' ability as a tackler, something Dyson and Herndon lack. Two solid tacklers in Trufant and Jennings on both sides of the ball will give our D a good advantage over edge rushing (Colts) or slip screens (Carolina). My biggest concern is the time it will take for him to learn the zones liked by John Marshall (and Ray Rhodes, whatever his true title actually is now). His height may become an issue at times when going for a jump ball, like when Dyson was beaten by Drew Carter in the NFC Title Game. Finally, because of his size he may have problems with physical receivers like Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, not being able to push them off their line. Still, we're not asking him to be our #1, and he should be very solid as a #2.

Colin: That's the main thing here. We're not asking him to be our #1 cornerback. As for height/weight issues??

Andre Dyson: 5'10'', 183 lbs
Champ Bailey: 6'0", 192 lbs
Kelly Jennings: 5'11", 179 lbs

So the difference between our smallish 1st rounder and Andre Dyson? An inch taller and a whopping 4 lbs lighter. The difference between Jennings and one of the best corners in the game? And inch shorther and 13 lbs lighter, some of which should come in as Jennings fills out in the NFL. So the whole, "too small for the NFL" thing? Balderdash.

My favorite thing about this guy? The fact that he is obviously intelligent and a hard worker. For a late first round pick, this guy should be a starter for years. Is he going to be an All-Pro? Probably not, but, once again, he will be a solid player, and that is the Ruskell staple. Pick the solid player over the guy who "might" be a Pro Bowl talent, like Youboty.

Round Two:
Darryl Tapp, DE (Virginia Tech)
6'1", 252 lbs, 4.84 40

Obviously, since I had us taking Tapp in Round One I like this pick. Although I did feel we were going to take a CB, the lack of depth at DE really worried me going into next season and I felt it was a more pressing issue. Being able to get Tapp at the bottom of round two was a really nice steal and capped off an impressive Day One. Since Virgina Tech's been pretty darn good the past couple of years I've had the chance to watch Tapp many times and he's always been around the ball. He's been the carrier of their Lunchpail Award (or something similar), given to the hardest worker each week for the past two years. Basically, the moment I saw his measurables I told Colin, "This is a Bryce Fisher clone." and I haven't seen anything to make me doubt that. He is undersized (just like the rest of our defense now) and will have to learn how to deal with the larger tackles in the NFL. Being in the ACC and having to play tackle propects like D'Brickishaw Ferguson, Eric Winston etc will help that learning curve. He is quick and has the "motor that never quits" which will immediately make him popular with Fisher, Wistrom, and Tatupu. Again, he is very intelligent, meaning he won't get caught out of position against the run too often and isn't inclined to overpursue. The biggest concern again is the size. Can he (like Fisher) overcome the bigger tackles he will be going up against to consistently perform? I think we've already seen with the Hawks what football players can do in this game. I don't think Darryl Tapp will be any different. He's the defensive end I wanted.

Colin: Again, not much more to add beyond what Gavin said, since this is one pick that he and I absolutely agree on, down to the Bryce Fisher parallel. One more player who might not be "dominant", but will be a solid NFL player. This is not an Isaiah K. guy who has plenty of guts and motor skills but no actual talent. This is a guy who, when you watched Virginia Tech play, you couldn't help but notice Darryl Tapp. Against Miami. Against USC two years ago. Against Maryland, Florida St., and Georgia Tech. This guy stood out. Needed depth and character here, and, with two picks, two holes were filled. That's what you like to see.

Round Four:
Rob Sims, OG (Ohio State)
6'2", 307 lbs, 5.2 40

Having filled our top two needs, the Hawks were free to start looking a little more loosely at what was available. Although we have tremendous offensive line depth, Chris Gray and Robbie Tobeck are getting on in years and so it is never too late to draft more, especially a good guard prospect from a good line school. The fact that Sims played some tackle in college means he can be another fluid Ashworth-like player, being able to fill in at multiple positions. This might sound rote, but he is intelligent and technically sound, although slightly undersized. He sounds quite a bit like Chris Gray, in fact, which isn't an enormous compliment, but makes him a valuable depth addition. Like Gray, he isn't athletic enough to really stand out in one-one blocking, and isn't mobile enough to stay in space. However, his smarts and technical ability will make him an effective guard in the NFL.

Colin: Sims began to shoot up draft boards over the last couple of weeks, which always makes me a little queasy about a pick, since nothing actually football related can happen that close to the draft. Still, you know he has been taught well after being at Ohio State, and I'm always ok with using a mid-round pick on an offensive lineman.

Round Five:
David Kirtman, FB (USC)
5'11, 233 lbs, 4.75

And so we try again to find a possible replacement for Mack Strong. Kirtman sounds like a better prospect than Heath Evans, and is used to doing nothing but banging heads in an NFL type offense at USC. I'm not a big fan of the size, though (here we go again). Shaun Alexander is almost bigger than this fullback and I don't know if Kirtman's body will be able to take the type of pounding our two-back offense will ask of him. As is per the norm on all Tim Ruskell picks, Kirtman is technically sound and has performed well at the college level. Whether or not he can add some to his bulk could do wonders for where he projects overall. I like the possibilities though as a fullback receiver out of the backfield. He is slightly more athletic than Strong. Just not sure about the bulk.

Colin: I thought Leonard Weaver was the possible replacement for Mack Strong. Still, Kirtman is more athletic, and is definitely better at catching balls out of the backfield. I just love watching Weaver play, but will watch, in the words of Senator Palpatine, his career with great interest.

Round Seven:
Ryan Plackemeier, PT (Wake Forest)

This is a punter, so I'm not going to post the measurables, because who cares. However, words cannot express how much I like this pick, for anything but getting another competitor to Tom Rouen, who helped as much as anyone in keeping the Lombardi Trophy out of our grasp. He is a huge kid who averaged 47.2 yards per punt last season (incredible) while still showing improvement at being able to land inside the twenty yard line. Our special teams continues to be a main source of concern entering the season. If Plackemeier is for real, he could do wonders for helping our offense not need to repeat it's insane ability at the 80+ yard drive.

Colin: This could be the third most important rookie to our team this year. By far. Tom Rouen is past his prime (saying that is like saying that Woody Paige is a tad incoherent), and the Super Bowl proved that we needed a better punter. Badly. I am sure hoping for this guy to take Rouen to the cleaners in training camp and win the job, because it is about time for us to get another good young punter in camp. Actually, when was the last time we had a good young punter? Ever?

Round Seven:
Ben Obomano, WR (Auburn)
6'1", 205 lbs, 4.45 40

There's not much to write home about here. Obomano will be given the chance to break camp as a special teams player and compete with Peter Warrick to return punts. I don't give him much of a chance at either. Maybe he'll make the practice squad but we have too many young talented WRs to think he's going to stick around.

Colin: Blah. Might be good, might not be good, don't care.

posted by Gavin @ 12:50 PM  0 comments


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