The Seattle Seahawks buck the trends when it comes to the NFL Draft. They have ultimate faith in their board and their scouts and throw value right out the window. For most teams, that strategy won’t work, but for the Seahawks, it does. Their player development program is arguably the best in the league and their (sometimes bizarre) drafting strategy plays into it nearly perfectly. So despite looking at the Seahawks class from the 2014 NFL Draft, which on paper looks subpar, you have to have faith in what the organization is doing.
The Seahawks traded out of the first round and took Paul Richardson (WR, Colorado) with their first pick at no. 45. This was their best pick in my opinion, as it was a solid value and fills an enormous need. WR Percy Harvin seemingly gets hurt just thinking about football, Golden Tate departed via free agency and Doug Baldwin has plateaued, so another guy with deep speed who can get good separation is exactly what this team was looking for. Right value, huge need, solid pick.
Nineteen picks later the Seahawks made their first monstrous reach by taking Justin Britt (OT, Missouri), who was projected by most to go in the very late rounds, if even drafted at all. He’ll battle 2013 7th rounder Michael Bowie for the vacant RT spot. It blew me away they passed on Morgan Moses, who was picked two spots later, and that could come back to haunt them. Awful value but a major need.
Cassius Marsh (DE, UCLA), Kevin Norwood (WR, Alabama) and Kevin Pierre-Louis (OLB, Boston College) were the teams fourth round choices. Marsh is a relentless pass rusher who should be a good fit in the Seahawks attacking one-gap scheme. Norwood was a strong value at this spot, and is a good size/speed guy. I like his potential. Pierre-Louis was another big reach, but has good athleticism and upside.
Jimmy Staten (DT, Middle Tennessee State) was another gigantic reach in the fifth round. Absolutely no one was expecting him to even be drafted at all. He’s got good size and strength but is very limited in polish and athleticism. This is another one of those instances where you just have to trust they know what they’re doing here, even though the value is horrendous. Why they felt compelled to take him in the fifth and not the seventh (or just wait and sign him after the draft), is beyond me, but they clearly must’ve known something I (and the rest of the world) don’t. I’m literally stunned that Staten was drafted and reigning Big 12 DPOY Jackson Jeffcoat (DE, Texas), whom the Seahawks signed after the draft, wasn’t.
Garrett Scott (OT/G, Marshall), Eric Pinkins (S, San Diego State) and Kiero Small (FB, Arkansas) were the teams last three picks coming in the sixth and seventh rounds. All three weren’t projected by most to even get drafted (picking up on the trend here?), but all have decent upside despite having a long way to go before reaching their potential. Small has the best chance to make an impact right away, and I thought he was incredibly underrated leading up to the draft.
All in all, it’s hard to get excited about this class, at least at this point in time. The value of the majority of picks was abhorrent, though they did a good job addressing needs. Like I said earlier, not every team can get by on consistently ignoring value, but you can’t argue with the results of their strategy. They’re one of the deepest teams in the league for a reason, and it’s because of shrewd drafting and scouting. So while on paper this class looks bad, it wouldn’t surprise me if a couple of these guys are making major contributions to the team in the near future.