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NFL Draft Grades 2011: Andy Dalton Decision Costs Seattle Seahawks, According To Sporting News

Did the Seattle Seahawks’ decision to pass on a quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft severely cripple the franchise for years to come? Were there enough high-quality quarterbacks in the draft for one to fall to No. 25? Is Andy Dalton a future Hall of Fame contender? If a few of the early 2011 NFL Draft grades are to be believed, the answer to all three questions is yes and the Seahawks failed because they did not pick a quarterback.

The Sporting News gives the Seahawks the lowest grade in the 2011 NFL Draft: D. Seattle joins the Oakland Raiders, New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars at the bottom of the pile, and was ripped apart yet again. But this time, the criticism is simply confounding to me.

Their decision not to pick quarterback Andy Dalton could haunt them, especially if Matt Hasselbeck leaves. Could go from first to worst in NFC West.

I look at Andy Dalton and don’t see a decision that could haunt the Seahawks, or any team. In fact, drafting Dalton probably would’ve had more of a chance of haunting the Seahawks than not drafting him. Was Dalton a first round talent? I’d argue not at all. But because of the terrible quarterback class, his stock was inflated thanks to supply and demand.

There is plenty to pick apart when it comes to grading the Seahawks’ draft, but passing on Andy Dalton is not an unforgivable decision. Seahawks general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll seem to have a plan for the quarterback spot and it may, in fact, result in grabbing a veteran — say, Carson Palmer or Kevin Kolb — when the offseason begins.

For even more on the draft, head on over to Field Gulls. Check out the rest of our 2011 NFL Draft grades to get caught up on all the picks. For a look back on the draft that was, check out our 2011 NFL Draft StoryStream. Stay with us for more on the draft as it becomes available.