The Seattle Seahawks made plenty of unorthodox moves at the 2012 NFL Draft, but nothing that seemed like it could have been called an outright mistake. The analysts don't seem to agree, however, as many were underwhelmed by the Seahawks' selections over the weekend.
Seattle Seahawks: C
The Seahawks pulled one of the real shockers of the first round with the selection of passing rushing specialist Bruce Irvin at No. 12 overall. At 6-3, 242 pounds, Irvin is too small to be a traditional 4-3 defensive end but in head coach Pete Carroll's scheme, size isn't as important as speed for the right defensive end (or LEO) position and Irvin certainly has that. Drafting a specialist at No. 15 is a stretch but despite boasting a very good defense on first and second down a year ago, Seattle's lack of pass rush has killed them in recent years. Few will call Irvin's pick a reach a year from now if he ranks among the rookie leaders in sacks. Second round pick Bobby Wagner's versatility and reliable open-field tackling skills could earn him a spot in the starting lineup as a rookie. General manager John Schneider and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell loved Russell Wilson's instincts and ignored concerns about his height to make him another surprising Seahawks' pick in the third round. The more immediate impact will be made by Seattle's pair of fourth round picks -- running back Robert Turbin, whose power, surprising speed and reliable pass-blocking could make him a valuable backup to star Marshawn Lynch and potentially defensive tackle Jaye Howard, who was coached by former Seahawks' defensive line coach Dan Quinn at Florida. Fifth-round project Korey Toomer (Idaho) and former Kentucky standout Winston Guy are also intriguing third-day picks.
Interestingly, Rang's point of view was one of the more positive ones. Vinnie Iver of the Sporting News chimed in with this take:
Seattle Seahawks (D)
Key picks: DE Bruce Irvin, ILB Bobby Wagner.
They went for defensive head-scratchers when more reliable prospects were on the board.
Seattle Seahawks D-
The selection of Irvin so early was a shocker, but the Seahawks badly needed a pass rusher, and he had 221/2 sacks in 26 college games. Wagner was a head-scratcher despite his strong Senior Bowl performance. The undersized Wilson will get a shot to compete with newcomer Matt Flynn and incumbent Tarvaris Jackson.
The world will have to wait and see whether the Seahawks are geniuses or fools. As in most cases, the final answer will likely be somewhere in the middle.