NFL.com Around the League editor Gregg Rosenthal recently ranked what he considers to be the five NFL teams that are the best when it comes to finding talent in the NFL Draft.
Rosenthal stresses that his list is in no particular order, but the Seahawks, under the direction of general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, are conveniently Rosenthal’s first mention.
The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, NFC West rival San Fracisco 49ers, New England Patriots, and New York Giants round out Rosenthal’s top five.
On the Seahawks, Rosenthal writes:
“GM John Schneider and Pete Carroll have only been together three years, but their track record is outstanding. They see players differently than other teams. Last year’s three-pack of Bruce Irvin,
Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson were all controversial picks that didn’t fit the traditional mold. They were all outstanding.
2011 was a shakier draft, but they found an All-Pro cornerback in Richard Sherman in the fifth round. That’s also the round they found Kam Chancellor in their first draft in 2010. That crop included Earl Thomas and Russell Okung. The spine of the Seahawks were built in three drafts.”
Twenty-two of Schneider and Carroll’s 28 total picks from the last three years remain on the Seahawks’ current roster. Four of their picks have been named to the Pro Bowl (Okung, Thomas, Chancellor, Wilson). Three have been named first-team All-Pro (Okung, Thomas, Sherman). And 10 of their 28 picks were listed as starters on the Seahawks’ depth chart heading into last year’s divisional playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Below is a pick-by-pick rundown of the Seahawks’ drafts guided by Schneider and Carroll.
|1||6||Russell Okung||6-5||310||T||Oklahoma State|
|2||60||Golden Tate||5-10||202||WR||Notre Dame|
|4||127||E.J. Wilson||6-3||289||DE||North Carolina|
|5||133||Kam Chancellor||6-3||232||S||Virginia Tech|
|7||236||Dexter Davis||6-1||244||DE||Arizona St.|
|7||245||Jameson Konz||6-3||234||WR||Kent. St.|
|4||99||K.J. Wright||6-4||246||LB||Mississippi St.|
|5||156||Mark LeGree||6-0||211||S||Appalachian St.|
|1||15||Bruce Irvin||6-3||248||DE||West Virginia|
|2||47||Bobby Wagner||6-0||241||LB||Utah State|
|4||106||Robert Turbin||5-10||222||RB||Utah State|
|6||172||Jeremy Lane||6-0||190||CB||NW Louisiana|
|7||225||JR Sweezy||6-5||298||G||North Carolina St.|
Russell Wilson a Saint? Marshawn Lynch a Viking? Richard Sherman a Jet? Percy Harvin a Colt?
Say it ain’t so. OK, it’s not – thankfully. But that’s where four of the Seahawks’ best players ended up in Mike Silver’s annual Ultimate Mock Draft at YahooSports.com. And how does his exercise work?
“As always, we take the original draft order and allow each of the league’s 32 teams to select any human in his current physical condition,” Silver wrote. “Obviously, this is an imaginary exercise, though the sentiment behind the selections is absolutely authentic. Many of the league’s top talent evaluators and coaches helped me determine which players would be deemed most valuable in such a scenario. And this year, in some cases, the general manager (or another powerbroker) of the team in question was actually put on the clock before providing me with the hypothetical pick.”
Here’s the rational for how the Seahawks players ended up with other teams:
9. Jets — Richard Sherman, CB: Desperate to win in 2013, embattled coach Rex Ryan makes one, final plea for cornerback Darrelle Revis. Before he can finish the sentence, owner Woody Johnson shuts him down. New general manager John Idzik, formerly the Seahawks’ vice president of football administration, lobbies for Russell Wilson, who went from third-round draft pick to franchise quarterback in a matter of months last season. Johnson, however, pledges loyalty to Mark Sanchez, to whom the team must pay a guaranteed $100 billion dollars in 2013. (Yes, that’s a slight exaggeration. But it does allow me to link to Dr. Evil, so there’s that…) Ever the pragmatist, Johnson comes up with a solution: “How ’bout we take a cornerback and a Seahawk? Everybody wins…” Well, except Revis …
15. Saints — Russell Wilson, QB: The thought of Wilson, who showed exceptional poise and touch in his revelatory rookie season, teaming up with Sean Payton, who spent his year-long suspension conjuring cutting-edge plays the way Tupac summoned a surplus of brilliant rhymes in prison, is downright scary. Together, the preternaturally mature quarterback and the hyper-motivated coach could make beautiful music together in the Crescent City for the next decade. And given his experiences with (Drew) Brees, we know Payton has positive associations with short quarterbacks.
(And why would the Saints need Wilson? Because Silver has Brees going to the Browns at No. 6)
23. Vikings — Marshawn Lynch, RB: With the game’s preeminent running back gone, general manager Rick Spielman gives coach Leslie Frazier the next-best thing. Lynch, while not blessed with
Peterson’s breakaway speed, is a punishing runner who averaged five yards a carry while gaining 1,590 yards for a playoff team. If he can provoke seismic activity in Minneapolis, the man will truly become legendary.
(And why would the Vikings need Lynch? Because Silver has Adrian Peterson going to the Dolphins at No. 12)
24. Colts — Percy Harvin, WR: When the Seahawks traded picks in the first, third and seventh rounds for Harvin last month, it illustrated just how valuable this shifty, explosive receiver is in league circles. Second-year general manager Ryan Grigson can’t resist selecting this game-wrecker with rare skills, though the move is not without risk. Harvin has a history of getting grumpy toward his employers and making his frustrations known, and the fact that the Vikings deemed such a talented weapon to be expendable tells you all you need to know. Then again, Grigson’s willing to take a chance. When you’re the reigning NFL executive of the year, you can afford to swing big.
Also in this mock, the Seahawks get to keep the 25th pick they traded for Harvin. Silver has them selecting …
25. Seahawks — Darnell Dockett, DT: General manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll, who like to groove out to reggae music in the war room, do some Burnin’ and Lootin‘ of their NFC West rivals’ defensive line. While Dockett had his issues in Arizona last December, incurring a $200,000 fine for conduct detrimental to the team, the confrontation with teammate Kerry Rhodes that got him in trouble spoke to the player’s competitiveness: Dockett vehemently disagreed with the coaches’ directive to let the Jets score on purpose. Carroll can live with that, especially given Dockett’s consistently disruptive and aggressive interior line play.
BID on Seahawks auction items
DONATE to Ben’s Fund
Seahawks general manager John Schneider and his wife Traci, whose son Ben was diagnosed with autism when he was three years old, launched Ben’s Fund in 2012 to provide grants to families to help cover costs associated with medical bills, therapies and other aspects of supporting a child, or children, on the autism spectrum.
On Thursday, April 18, the Schneider’s will host their second Prime Time celebrity waiter event in partnership with Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) at El Gaucho Bellevue. Players and coaches that will be in attendance include head coach Pete Carroll, assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable, strong safety Kam Chancellor, defensive ends Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril, tight end Zach Miller, wide receiver Golden Tate, quarterback Russell Wilson, former Seahawks fullback Mack Strong, and more.
The Prime Time event is sold out, but you can still join the Seahawks in the fight against autism by donating to Ben’s Fund, or by placing a bid on any of the Seahawks online auction items outlined below, where 100 percent of the proceeds are dedicated to Ben’s Fund.
Auction items are available for bid through Friday, April 19 and you can place your bid at primetime.seahawks.com.
- Family portrait with the Seahawks offensive line including Pro Bowlers T Russell Okung and C Max Unger
- Seahawks CB Richard Sherman will “trash talk” one fantasy football opponent
- Pre-fantasy football draft chat via phone with Sport’s Illustrated and NBC Sports Network Peter King
- Authentic 2012 Pro Bowl Jersey signed by Seahawks S Kam Chancellor
- Authentic NFL Game Football signed by Seahawks DE Bruce Irvin
- Full-Size Replica Seahawks Helmet signed by QB Russell Wilson
In a word, “No.” In two words, “No way.” If you need three words, how about: “Are you kidding?”
We figured we’d answer the question in the teaser for Jason La Canfora’s feature at CBSSports.com – Is there a better NFL personnel guy right now than Seattle’s John Schneider? – before actually getting into what he had to say about the Seahawks’ general manager.
La Canfora points out the obvious, which is too often overlooked when it comes to Schneider. Maybe it’s because Schneider looks too young to be running a NFL franchise. Maybe it’s that old stigma of doing all that he’s doing in Seattle, a remote outpost on the NFL landscape. Maybe the XXXL-sized shadow cast by coach Pete Carroll.
Whatever the reason, it’s nice to see Schneider getting his due – some overdue due.
Writes La Canfora: “John Schneider might be the most aggressive general manager in the NFL, and, in my estimation, no one has done a better job evaluating talent and manipulating the draft, trades and free agency since he took over the Seahawks in 2010. …
“So, here in early April, I challenge anyone to find a team that made better calculated moves than Seattle and Schneider. I am a huge Percy Harvin guy, and felt he could be an absolute difference-maker, particularly if a team with a dynamic quarterback like Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick landed him. Turns out Harvin can now line up alongside Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. Yes, the price in terms of draft picks was high – but Schneider also did well to recoup picks and clear up budget space by spinning backup quarterback Matt Flynn to Oakland – and there was no way the Seahawks were going to get a talent anything close to what Harvin provides picking where they were in this draft.
“I love the move, and while I understand Harvin has warts, I don’t see him clashing with Pete Carroll or being a persistent problem child in Seattle. He’s making what he’s worth; he’s content and has been migraine free for quite some time. His versatility and game-breaking skills at several receiver spots, running back and on special teams cannot be overstated.
“Seattle also had a need at pass rusher and landed Cliff Avril – and another player just hitting his prime and perhaps the best rusher on the market – and at a bargain-basement rate. They added Michael Bennett for good measure on a prove-it deal, wisely allowing the market to set before wading in. All the while, I continue to hear edge rusher Chris Clemons is making great progress recovering from knee surgery. When you consider this team was looking Super Bowl-worthy already, plus all of Wilson’s upside, a big tip of the cap to Schneider.”
All we can add to this is, “Yeah” and “It’s about time someone noticed the job Schneider is doing, and has done.”
Like last year. Schneider and staff got Lynch and run-stuffing/kick-blocking defensive end Red Bryant re-signed before they could become hot commodities in free agency. And can Schneider ever get enough credit for seeing things in Wilson that others couldn’t, or refused to because he’s “too short to play in this league?”
The answer to that last question, of course, is the same as those offered to the first question: “No.” “No way.” “Are you kidding?”
Audio file – General Manager John Schneider on 950 KJR AM:
Seahawks general manager John Schneider joined 950 KJR AM’s Mitch in the Morning show with host Mitch Levy yesterday to discuss an array of offseason topics – the trade for Percy Harvin, the free agent signings of defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, and what the future holds for backup quarterback Matt Flynn.
If case you missed the interview, we’ve embedded the entire segment between Schneider and Levy above, but one of the more newsworthy pieces to come out of the conversation was on Bennett, who ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently reported had been diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff.
“It is true,” Schneider told Levy of the report. “I do know he [Bennett] played every game last year with [the injury], that’s the understanding. Our medical staff felt comfortable with it, especially on a one-year deal.”
Schneider went on to say that Bennett’s injury would need to be repaired at some point, but not anytime in the near future. He fully expects Bennett to play with the injury as he did throughout 2012, when he racked up 9.0 sacks and three forced fumbles while playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“The majority of them were as an inside rusher,” Schneider said of Bennett’s 2012 sack total. “It’s how we’re going to use him, like a three-technique inside rusher.
“Michael had been here before, so he’s very close with Red Bryant and a number of guys on the team. He had a strong interest in coming here and playing for coach Carroll and [defensive coordinator] Dan Quinn.”
NFL.com Around the League writer Chris Wesseling has ranked what he believes to be the NFL’s five strongest rosters, and after the recent acquisitions of wide receiver Percy Harvin and defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, the Seattle Seahawks have claimed the top spot on his list.
The Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, and New England Patriots rank No. 2-5, respectively, on Wesseling’s list. His comments on the Seahawks’ current squad and 2013 NFL Draft needs are outlined below:
Adrian Peterson’s reaction to the Percy Harvin trade speaks volumes about a dynamic player who could tip the balance of power in the NFC West. It’s easy to forget that Harvin was a more valuable player than Peterson prior to his season-ending ankle injury in Week 9 of last season.
Russell Wilson’s offense averaged 32.4 points per over the final 10 games of the 2012 season (including the playoffs). It gets even better with Harvin, recently described by NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell as ‘a movable chess piece that advances the continuing evolution of NFL offense.’
To a defense that led the NFL in fewest points per game, the Seahawks have added effective pass rushers Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett on the cheap.
Draft Needs: This might be the one team with the luxury of selecting the best player available regardless of need throughout the entire draft. The Seahawks could use depth at linebacker and the offensive line, but the most glaring weak spot is kicker, with Steven Hauschka unsigned.”
Russell Wilson was in a corporate meeting at Virginia Mason Athletic Center last week, but John Schneider felt compelled to interrupt the session. And who could blame him? The Seahawks had just completed a trade to acquire Percy Harvin and the team’s general manager figured the team’s quarterback should be among the first to know.
“John Schneider knocks on the window and pulls me aside,” Wilson recalled today during a promotional event for the Verizon Wireless “Save it Seattle: Pledge to Stop Texting & Driving” program. “He said, ‘Hey, come in. I need to talk to you real quick.’ He tells me we added Percy Harvin to the football team.”
That’s Percy Harvin the versatile and productive receiver/returner/runner from the Vikings who fills several needs for a Seahawks offense that only got better as last season progressed with Wilson as the rookie QB.
Wilson’s reaction? As understandable as it was predictable.
“He’s a guy that’s very, very competitive. A guy who’s been one of the top receivers in the National Football League. He’s very, very explosive. He’s a great kick returner. He’s going to help our football team,” Wilson said.
Wilson looks at Harvin as a complement to the receivers already on the roster who can enhance what Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin bring to the passing game.
“It’s so exciting to see what we have on the table,” Wilson said. “I know that feeling of losing last year (to the Falcons in the divisional round of the playoffs), and it doesn’t feel good. So we have to do whatever it takes to win. And I definitely believe our football team is mentally and physically ready, and spiritually as well.
“It’s a battle and we can’t wait to get out there and add Percy and the rest of the guys that we have added as well.”
That would be Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, the defensive linemen who were signed in free agency last week – after Harvin was acquired in the trade.
Pro Bowl kick returner Leon Washington, who was released by the Seahawks on Tuesday, has signed with the Patriots.
The move is a return to the AFC East for Washington, who was acquired by the Seahawks in a trade with the Jets during the 2010 NFL Draft. Washington became expendable after the Seahawks obtained Percy Harvin in a trade with the Vikings this week.
But Washington’s three-season stay in Seattle was memorable, and productive. He returned three kickoffs for touchdowns in 2010 and added another last season – the eighth of his career to tie the NFL all-time record. Washington also led the NFC in kickoff return average (29.0) last season, when he was voted to the Pro Bowl.
“This is the hard part. These are people’s lives,” general manager John Schneider said of releasing Washington. “We have a very special place in our hearts for him. The hardest part of the business is calling somebody and telling them that we’re going to go in a different direction.
“Leon did a phenomenal job here. The fans love him. He’s such a pro; he really handled himself with extreme class. He understood what we were doing. The first thing you could say about him is he’s a pro.”
With the Patriots, Washington joins a team that has advanced to the playoffs in nine of the past 10 seasons, but averaged 21.2 yards on kickoff returns in 2012 to rank 25th in the league.
To say the national reaction to the Seahawks acquiring Percy Harvin has been positive doesn’t begin to tell just how well the trade for the wide receiver/kickoff returner/runner is being received.
After Harvin was obtained Tuesday in a deal with the Vikings Don Banks at SI.com offered, “For a franchise that has rapidly become known for its fearless, unconventional thinking on personnel matters, Seattle’s trade for disgruntled receiver-return man Percy Harvin is another bold step. One that again reinforces the perception that Seattle is comfortable operating outside the box and rapidly gaining confidence in its methods.”
Sure, the Seahawks gave up three draft choices to get Harvin, including their first-round pick next month. But as Banks wrote, “This is a win-now move for a team ready to challenge San Francisco for supremacy in the NFC, and Harvin gives Seattle another dynamic and unconventional player who threatens a defense on multiple fronts, having scored multiple touchdowns as a receiver, rusher and return man. Harvin at his best creates pressure on a defense that few players can match, and it’s not often you can pick up a fifth-year talent with a fairly unique skill set while that player is very much in his prime.”
Mike Silver at YahooSports.com also likes the move, and what it does to the dynamic in the NFC West: “Two words to describe the ever-escalating rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks: It’s on.”
As for the trade, he wrote: “I completely understand why (coach Pete) Carroll and Seahawks general manager John Schneider felt good about taking this big swing. For one thing, they have positive associations with such a move, having reaped the benefits of a 2010 trade for Marshawn Lynch that was considered a gamble at the time. Further, Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell had the same job with the Vikings during Harvin’s first two NFL seasons, and obviously there’s a familiarity and comfort level that helped convince the team this was a worthwhile move.”
And at CBSSports.com, Clark Judge lists Harvin among his “five biggest winners” from the first day of the NFL free-agency period.
Richard Sherman appeared on the NFL Network’s NFL AM this morning, and the Seahawks’ All-Pro cornerback had a lot to say on several topics.
Here’s a transcript of the interview:
On the San Francisco 49ers trading for wide receiver Anquan Boldin:
“That was a great move. I was really surprised they got him for a sixth-round pick. I thought the way he played in the postseason and the way he played all season he was worth a lot more than that. But that was a great move by San Francisco and they got a great player who still has a lot of football left.”
On the areas the Seahawks need to address this offseason:
“We have a pretty solid team as we stand; we have a lot of playmakers. Obviously with (Chris) Clemons going down last year with a knee injury, they’re going to probably try to secure that and get some depth there. We let Jason Jones go into free agency so I think the defensive line is where we’re going to pick up some pieces. We have great depth at linebacker and at defensive back. I’ve heard rumors of us picking up a defensive back or two, and obviously I’m always happy for more competition. My teammates are too; whatever makes us better. We just picked up a great weapon on offense but I’m sure Pete (Carroll) and John (Schneider) are going to do whatever they think is best for the team. They’ve done a great job so far.”
On if he expects the Seahawks the highest paid cornerback in the league when he becomes an unrestricted free agent:
“To tell you the truth, I’m not sure. I don’t think I’m the one to comment on that. All I can do is play to the best of my abilities. We have a lot of great players on our team who are obviously going to want the same thing. We have Russell Okung, Russell Wilson, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Brandon Browner – we have a lot of great players who are also going to need to make their money and to get compensated for everything they’ve done. Pete (Carroll) and John (Schneider) will do a great job making sure we all stay in Seattle, and whatever that means – if that means me being the highest paid corner – then that’s what it means. If not, then it is what it is.”
On what would interest him the most about the free agency process:
“You see other teams all of the time; you play against them. But you never see organizations for what they are internally. You hear about them through other players and you see them through osmosis; how they treat other players and how they deal with other players. The Seahawks have one of the best organizations and one of the best teams in the way they treat the team and the way they develop our chemistry and treat us like more of a college family atmosphere. That’s why a lot of players who are currently here enjoy playing for Pete (Carroll) and those guys because it’s such a great environment. It’s almost like you’re not in the NFL; we haven’t been exposed to that side of it as much as other players have. I’m appreciative for that and I’m kind of not looking forward to seeing that part of the game.”