Seattle Seahawks 2012 NFL Draft Grades
The Seattle Seahawks had a fairly disappointing season in 2011, as they went 7-9 and missed the playoffs one year after winning the NFC West and winning a home playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.
They have added competition (at minimum) at quarterback with the free agent signing of Matt Flynn, but there were plenty of other needs facing the team when the 2012 NFL Draft started.
Here is a look at the Seattle Seahawks 2012 NFL Draft Class:
1st Round (Pick 15)- Bruce Irvin, OLB/DE, West Virginia
Seattle made the first pick of the draft that felt like a reach by taking Irvin, but the 22.5 sacks he had during his two years at West Virginia is hard to ignore. But off the field issues, including a disorderly conduct charge in March, has to be a concern and he is an undersized defensive end that may struggle to make a quick transition to the next level. The Seahawks’ brass has been adamant they got one of the best players on their board, but if players that were drafted after him at his position (Melvin Ingram, Whitney Mercilus) put together better NFL careers this will look like a very bad pick.
2nd Round (Pick 47)- Bobby Wagner, ILB, Utah State
The Seahawks second pick was also considered a reach, as Wagner was definitely not thought of as a second-round pick. But he was a productive tackler (394) over his final three collegiate seasons, and is considered a high-effort player despite displaying lacking great instincts. Wagner is likely to compete for a starting job, perhaps at middle linebacker replacing the departed David Hawthorne, so the verdict on this choice stands to come soon and by fire.
3rd Round (Pick 75)- Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
The main knock on Wilson is his lack of ideal height (5’11″), but he seems to have most of the other physical tools and intangibles to be a succesful NFL quarterback. He will start out behind Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson on the depth chart for the Seahawks, but it would not be surprising to see him play at some point in his rookie season if both veterans struggle to give the team competent play under center. Seattle may have gotten a steal here when it’s all said and done, even if Wilson is not an immediate starter. in 2012.
4th Round (Pick 106)- Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
Turbin was extremely productive in 2009 and 2011, totaling over 2,800 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns while adding a combined 47 receptions and nine touchdowns over those two seasons. But he missed the entire 2010 season with a torn ACL, which likely played a role in his fall to the fourth round, and he was also medically redshirted due to a foot injury as a freshman in 2007. Turbin is a similar back to Marshawn Lynch, Seattle’s current starting tailback, and could easily step in and replace him if Lynch fails to repeat his excellent 2011 campaign.
4th Round (Pick 14)-Jaye Howard, DT, Florida
Howard brings some heft (301 lbs.) to the Seahawks defensive line, and is considered a player who has not yet reached his ceiling. He had a productive senior season at Florida, with 65 total tackles (10 tackles for loss) along with 5.5 sacks, but that was his only year as a full-time starter in his collegiate career. Howard did play under former Seattle defensive line coach Dan Quinn in Gainesville, as Quinn currently serves as Florida’s defensive coordinator, and that may ease his transition to the NFL since there stands to be some similarities in terms of defensive scheme.
5th Round (Pick 154)-Korey Toomer, OLB, Idaho
Toomer had been projected as a seventh round pick in some circles, but a good showing at Idaho’s Pro Day that included a 4.53 40-yard dash and a 42-inch vertical jump seems to have grabbed the attention of the Seahawks. His versatility, as he played defensive end and linebacker during his senior season, adds to his appeal as well. Toomer could earn an immediate role as a situational pass rusher for a Seattle team that needs to add to their pass rush.
6th Round (Pick 172)-Jeremy Lane, CB, Midwestern State
Lane has NFL size (6’0″, 190 lbs.), but injuries limited him to just one full season as a starter at Midwestern State. He seems to have the other, albeit raw, physical tools to develop into a productive cornerback at the next level. Lane may be able to contribute immediately on special teams while he hones his craft, so there seems to be only upside here if he is retained on the active roster or perhaps on the practice squad.
6th Round (Pick 181)- Winston Guy, SS, Kentucky
Guy brings sufficient size (6’1″, 218 lbs.) to play strong safety in the NFL, and playing against strong competition in college certainly stands to help him make the transition. He had over 100 tackles in each of his final two collegiate seasons, and is considered an all-around tough and physical player despite limited athleticism. Guy looks like another special teams contributor, but there are concerns his lackluster work ethic may hinder any further development.
7th Round (Pick 225)-J.R. Sweezy, DT, N.C. State
Seahawks general manager John Schneider has already said Sweezy will be moved to offensive guard, and he cited Sweezy’s athleticiscm compared to the offensive line prospects available at this stage as the reason for selecting him. Working with an offensive line coach the caliber of Tom Cable in Seattle should ease and perhaps even accelerate Sweezy’s transition, and it would not be too surprising if the Seahawks got a useful player here.
7th Round (Pick 232)-Greg Scruggs, DE/DT, Louisville
Scruggs is considered a gifted athlete, but his collegiate production (just eight sacks in four seasons) did not follow. He may be able to earn a spot as a backup defensive end if he has a good preseason, otherwise he may land on the Seahawks practice squad.
Overall Grade: C+
The puzzling, and widely panned, first two picks by the Seahawks were saved some by the selections of Wilson and Turbin and to a lesser extent Howard. Other than that, how this crop is perceived down the road is tied almost completely to Irvin’s performance. All things considered, it seems Seattle did not get a lot of value with most of their picks and that has dampened the outside perception of this group at this stage.