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

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April 28, 2008 1:35 PM

Seahawks draft review

Posted by Danny O'Neil

ESPN's helmet-haired draft guru Mel Kiper checked in with his team-by-team grades of the draft. Of course, the report cards need to be taken for what they're worth, which is an assessment a full four months before any of the players will take a regular-season draft. He gave the Seahawks a 'B' the highest grade in the division. Here's the text of his excerpt on the Seahawks:

Lawrence Jackson stepped up his performance and deserved being a first-round pick. I would have looked at Dustin Keller, although John Carlson is a more complete tight end. Texas A&M's Red Bryant is a stay-at-home defensive tackle. He was productive in 2007, but he never took his game to the next level coming out of high school. Owen Schmitt is a throwback old-school fullback. Tyler Schmitt is a good long snapper. Justin Forsett has the chance to make this team at running back. Georgia's Brandon Coutu -- whom I thought was the best kicker in this draft -- could be this year's Mason Crosby.

Dr. Z of Sports Illustrated, Paul Zimmerman, included Seattle among three teams which he wasn't "wild about." The other teams were San Diego and Cleveland, which did not have a pick on the first day of the draft. Here's the excerpt of Dr. Z's summary on Seattle from his post-draft assessment:

I can find only three interesting names, DE Lawrence Jackson and Notre Dame TE John Carlson at the top, and then a drop to the fifth round for a peek at 250-pound fullback Owen Schmitt.

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Posted by Alex A

2:15 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I think The hawks did awesome got alot of young talent and picked up some big guys. I think they really steered this draft towards toughness this year.

Posted by mickey

3:12 PM, Apr 28, 2008

It looks like we will get three or four good starters out of this, plus a long snapper and maybe a kicker.

Sounds pretty good to me.

Posted by Henry

3:13 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Love the draft. Filled a lot of big holes and then some small ones on special teams FB Schmitt will be awesome in opening up holes for Jones/Duckett/Morris.

Solid draft as always.

Posted by Anthony

3:48 PM, Apr 28, 2008

See now, Danny, if there's something to rant about (and you kind of did in your column on Friday or Saturday) it is the propensity of the draft pundits to give out draft grades based solely on their opinion of each player and where they should've been taken immediately after the draft. If you feel a need to hand out draft grades after a draft, they should hand out grades of the draft for teams three years prior. I think it would be very cool -- not to mention much more meaningful -- to analyze a team's draft 3 yrs after the fact. So obviously this year they'd analyze a team's 2005 draft, see where those players are at and then show this season's picks and make a sort of judgement on their overall ability to draft. That's exactly what should be done. I never take these draft grades to heart, never.

Posted by Patrick from Kent

4:06 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I agree with Anthony 100%. If you look back three years Mel Kiper said that Lofa was too small at middle linebacker, and we should have taken another MLB like the kid from Florida that year. All that kid has done I think is be injured. But Lofa has been overall one of the best defenders in the NFL. 3 Pro Bowls in your first 3 years, I do not think that happens all to often! A++ for that draft!

Posted by salemdawg

4:12 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Zimmerman has NEVER said a positive thing about the Seahawks - ever.

Posted by Jon Norton

4:28 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Seahawk fans will be happy with the selection of Lo Jack. He was a beast at USC for four seasons and will be an all pro within three years. He is a very solid player from the best school in the nation at producing NFL talent. USC had 10 players drafted including 4 in the first round. I would have liked the hawks to draft TE Fred Davis ahead of Carlson, though. Although Carlson is a better blocker, Davis is a much better receiver and is much faster.

Posted by Leif Long

6:49 PM, Apr 28, 2008

They did a good job got depth they needed at DT with lawrence jackson, they got there starting TE in john carlson, who is the most ready TE in the draft, red bryant gives the hawks that wide body to complement mebane and who knows maybe tubbs can actually come back and play great so tubbs mebane and bryant would be a great rotation not to forget bout terrill and bernard, owen schmitt gives us a great blocker who loves contact and who is physical siomeone and something this team needs which means mo mo mite be on his way out, tyler schmitt gives us the best long snapper in the draft who will fill the position with no doubt, justin forsett...? idk mite make the practice squad, and brandon coutu next best if not btr thn the guy from wisconsin tyler mehlhauf who went to the saints idk i would of been happy with either of them, he will replace josh brown and be our future kicker...

Posted by CC in LA

7:45 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I've subscribed to SI for 30 years and Dr. Z is not only an arrogant idiot, for some strange reason he has always had it against the Seahawks. I don't have the data, but conservatively he has picked against the Seahawks in 60% of the games they've played in recent years. So it's no surprise he "wasn't wild" about the Hawks draft.

Posted by 12thmanforlife

9:13 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I liked this draft as well. I think we got solid players with the first 2 picks. The DE is going to be a steal when it is all said and done and I think Tapp is too small to be an everydown player, so this was a good pick. The TE will not be a superstar, but he will be a good contributor and a nice weapon to have in the red zone. I love the DT we picked up. He is big and nasty and intense on the field and a nice guy off the field and the fact that he is marrying Jacob Green's daughter is awesome. Even though we don't need a fullback I really like the one we got. He is very good speed, good hands, good techinque and is an animal. He will be great on special teams as will the long snapper. I am not sure about the kicker. I don't know if he is able to make 50 yarders and that was something Brown could do consistently. And I thought the RB out of Cal was a waist of a pick. He is too small and not fast enough to be anything in this league. He was good in college. Won't make the squad. Overall I thought we had a good draft. We filled a lot of needs. Would have liked to see a guard or tackle, but can't have everything you want. If the player isn't there, you have to go another way.

Posted by free beer

9:35 PM, Apr 28, 2008

A small fast running back in collage doesn't necessarily mean his going to be a back in the pros!
Owen Schmitt, has the attitude to be a full back in the pros, maybe even more so then the one we got right now? The Hawks will probably put on a few more pounds on the guy, as they said, he brakes faces masks....got to be something cooking inside that guy??

Posted by morrisonsghost

3:41 AM, Apr 29, 2008

I thought it was a great draft overall for the 'Hawks, despite what a lot of "experts" are saying. Like some other people said, we got 4 potential starters (Jackson, Carlson, Bryant and O. Schmitt), a great specialist (T. Schmitt) and a potential replacement for Josh Brown. How can anyone say that's a bad draft?

My Seahawks Draft Review

Posted by -k

8:33 AM, Apr 29, 2008

For what it's worth, ESPN did re-grade the 2005 draft. The Seahawks grade was an A-, citing Tatupu and Hill as a pair of steals, but that many later picks are no longer in football.

I'm going to have to agree with the people here, and not the so-called experts. I like it when the Hawks pick up great football players, and not the so-called sexy picks.

Lo-Jack will be a defensive tackle style run stopper at DE, and he can get to the passer occasionally as well. He's a great pick when you consider DT Bryant in the 4th round. Bryant is a guy who'll be a solid run stopper as well, but will be pulled on passing downs. Lo-Jack can then move inside and Tapp can come inside to rush off the end.

Also, I love the pickup of TE John Carlson. He's a complete TE one who can black as well as be a receiver. His 40-time is slow, but i don't put too much stock into that. Jerry Rice and Steve Largent has slow 40 times. If you look at film from 2 years ago, when he went out into patterns more, he showed great ability to separate from LB's, and great sense of how to find the holes in zone coverage.

I'm also very happy with both Schmitts. The trouble that the hawks have has at long snapper is over. The FB is seriously old school and will greatly help the running game. I know many Hawk fans like Weaver, but he's not a run blocker like strong was. Weaver is a guy who wants the ball in his hands. I love that they picked up an old school FB who break facemasks. Imagine the improvement he'll add to the running game.

The RB the hawks grabbed is a small maurice jones-drew or Kevin faulk style guy. Fast, agile, and good in the passing game (especially, if he can pick up the blitz)

To me the only real question mark is the kicker. He was probably the best kicker in the draft, but his injury history is a concern. The is a guy who has hit from 58 yards in the past, and consistently put kickoff out the back of the endzone. If he can stay healthy this guy will have a great career.

No, let the 3-years of evaluation begin

Posted by 12thmanforlife

10:23 AM, Apr 29, 2008

Maybe I the article I read was incorrect, but it said that the kicker had only one touchback in his college career. That is not good and if he has to move back 5 yards he is going to be worse that Brown on kickoffs. And he did make one from 58 before he tore his hamstring, but he accuracy from that distance isn't very good either. We will see though. Maybe with some pro coaching he can improve.

Posted by Patrick F.

3:42 PM, Apr 29, 2008

The Hawks did an excellent job of addressing needs and depth in this draft. Jackson, Carlson, and the two Schmitts, plus Coutu are valuable and needed additions to this team. I hope Forsett is a reliable back, but I don't know much about him.

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