Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.
March 30, 2009 3:02 PM
Posted by Danny O'Neil
When president Tim Ruskell met with the local media at the scouting combine to talk about the decision to apply the franchise tag to Leroy Hill, he also talked in general terms about the team's strategy headed toward the draft.
Specifically, he was asked about the reluctance to trade out of a position to draft an impact player. Ruskell said that the starting point is determining how many impact players are available in that given draft.
"How many of those guys are there?" Ruskell asked rhetorically. "Sometimes, if you start out with a list of 15 of those guys, by the time your meetings are over that thing is down to eight. And if you eliminate some guys on their intangibles or off-the-field, it can go to four or six.
"That's the normal place."
The Seahawks use a grading scale that ranges from 1 up through a perfect 10. However, the highest grade Ruskell's teams have ever applied is an eight, which he affixed to Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders and Troy Aikman.
A rating of a 5.9 translates to a solid starter. A grade of 6 or higher is what the Seahawks equate to an impact player.
Ruskell drew no hard and fast conclusions about being reluctant to trade out of a position to take an impact player rated 6 or higher.
"I wouldn't say you wouldn't do it," he said. "[You'd ask] what am I getting for that? What about if I can two starters, good players, Pro Bowl-potential as opposed to one impact, you'd think about that. You'd think about that."
There's also another factor in the equation, and that's the money that will end up being paid to the No. 4 overall pick.
"It's tough. He hasn't played a play, and there's guys that have been here five years that aren't making the money he will make," Ruskell said. "It's a little bit of an inconsistency in our system."