THEME OF THIS DRAFT: Speed, Play-Makers, and An Even Stronger Commitment To Run The Ball With Authority. Seahawks don’t want to be just a great running team, they want to be the best and the most punishing consistently every play no matter the down or distance.
Per Couresty of David Hsu and Fieldgulls.com: 2013 Draft Class Measures:
1 (25): WR/KR/RB, Percy Harvin (10/10, A+)
What you need to know: In 2013 value, Seahawks gave up their 1st round pick, essentially a 4th round pick in value, and a 7th round pick (that was acquired by trading away free agent to be Tarvaris Jackson).
In comparison, it was less than what the Rams gave up for Tavon Austin, and less than what the Vikings gave up for Cordelle Patterson considering both players are still unproven in this league. Also, consider that Percy Harvin is the sum of the best abilities from both WRs packaged with 4 years of NFL experience and arguably more overall athleticism that makes him one of the most dynamically versatile play-makers in the NFL.
Where he fits in: Seahawks needed a go-to-WR that can consistently create separation down field as well as in the short to intermediate passing game. He is a YAC monster that can line up inside or out, in motion, and out the backfield. Harvin is also one of, if not the best returner in the games.
2(62): RB, Christine Michael (8.5/10, +1 for Trade Down, 9.5/10, A)
What you need to know: Has an injury history and perhaps some character concerns. Yet, this was a guy who hit the twitter verse pretty much gushing everything Seahawks after his VMAC visit. In pure athletic ability and overall physical tools, he might just be the best RB not only in the 2013 draft class but perhaps on the Seahawks roster. I know that is an extraordinary statement to make but he reminds me of a hybrid of Shaun Alexander’s tools with Marshawn Lynch’s physicality with his own special brand athleticism.
Where he fits in: It might be a year or two before Michael becomes the star-ter of this team. For now, he’s amazing insurance for back-busting beast of a bruiser, Marshawn Lynch. I also believe the Seahawks have carved out a niche for Michael in their offense as a Goal-Line specialist. A duty he excelled at after finding himself in the doghouse at Texas A&M, and something the Seahawks sorely lacked last season. Michael also might have some value as a KR for his ability to make defenders miss in the open field but that remains to be seen.
3(87): DT, Jordan Hill; 6’1”, 303 pounds (8/10, B-)
What you need to know: Consider him the Russell Wilson of Defensive Tackles in this class. A smart, productive, relentless overachiever graded out too small to be a relevant factor in the NFL. Even though he is all of these things, I’m here to you otherwise, that he is better than what people think, and what he is given credit for.
Production: One of the more quietly consistent producers on the collegiate level in the past 2 years with 123 tackles, 16.5 TFL, 7.5 sacks this while being asked to be the anchor of Penn State’s Run Defense. Also, consider that he ranked best in class with 25 stops of 2 yards or less.
Build: Somewhat squatty, and thickly based similar to that of Brandon Mebane coming out of Cal yet more evenly proportioned in whole with long arms (33 ½ inches) and big hands (10 ¼).
Athleticism: Played last season on a bum knee which he had scoped in November. He gained 10 pounds on top of his playing weight, probably not all in a healthy way, and wasn’t fully 100% at the Combine but participated anyway to varied results. However, he worked his way back and better by his Pro Day and if you combine his total workout bests of 28 bench reps, 30 inch vert, 9’03 broad jump, 4.97 40-yard dash, 1.76 10-yard dash, 4.51 yard shuttle, and 7.49 3-cone drill. You’ll get a football player whose numbers are similar if not slightly better than guys like Sharif Floyd, Sylvester Williams, and Kawaan Short.
Passion: Right away, you’ll find that he’s not only a determined hard-worker that makes his due in the “first in, last out” camp off the field. On the field, he has a relentless non-stop motor, plays whistle to whistle, and never stops chasing the play until the ball-carrier is down. I’ve seen some say Hill is easily worn down and will only be successful in a rotation. On the contrary, I’ve read that his all in, all out style tends to wears out opposing lineman more.
Where he fits in: He might not be a starter, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he comes out on top as the guy at 3 tech. He certainly will push the threshold of competition. As a run defender, while he might not have prototypical size and top notch strength to anchor consistently against the point of attack. He plays with great leverage to hold up his blocker, showing solid technique to fight off his blocker, disengage, and make the play on the ball-carrier.
His bread and butter though will be Dan Quinn developing what is probably the strength of his game and something the Nittany Lions primarily did NOT ask him to be, a quick twitch pocket disrupting DT with an uncannily ability as a pass-rusher to explode off the snap, fight off the block becoming slippery and agile to knife through and create havoc in the opposing backfield.
4 (123): WR, Chris Harper, 6’1, 230 (8.5/10, B)
Trying to keep this shorter now.
What you need to know: Harper perhaps could the best overall package at WR in this draft considering size, strength, and athleticism: sub 4.5 speed, 20 reps in bench, 35.5 inch vert, 33 inch arms, and 10 inch hands. He gets a lot of comparisons to Anquan Boldin, which is fine, but in Harper’s defense he is bigger, stronger, faster, and more athletic in every measurable Boldin tested in coming out of college.
CH didn’t benefit in a pass happy system that padded his stat line, yet was still effectively productive despite starting out his collegiate career as a QB at Oregon, then sitting out a year after transferring to Kansas St. Making progressions every year as a WR despite being in Run Heavy system and playing with an average at best QB, he had 123 catches for 1734 yards and 12 TDs in 3 years at K St.
In this draft, he is like a bigger, stronger DeAndre Hopkins.
Where he fits in: Mike Williams, Kris Durham, Terrell Owens, and Braylon Edwards. All guys Seattle has signed, drafted, or tried out to satisfy Carroll’s desire for a Big WR. While Harper lacks the length of these players he fits the mold with his physicality and toughness taking advantage of his size to box out defenders and using his long arms and big, reliable hands catching balls away from his body. Also an aggressive, capable downfield blocker.
5(137): DT, Jesse Williams, 6’4, 323 (9/10, A-)
What you need to know: Seahawks used both of their picks in the trade down with the Ravens to move up to take the massive Australian. He was considered a legit 2nd round grade with possible 1st round potential at one point. But a knee issue cause him to miss the Senior Bowl and the Combine and like Jordan Hill was somewhat limited getting in shape, yet, he posted some quality numbers for a big man at his Proday: 30 bench reps, 1.77 10-yd dash, 2.90 20-yd dash, 4.92 40-yd dash, 4.83 20-yd shuttle, and 7.81s 3-Cone drill. If Williams stays healthy he will easily be the steal of our draft.
Where he fits in: Possesses the size, power, and motor to be the anchor the rush defense as 0 and 1-tech, possibly allowing Brandon Mebane to move back over to 3-Tech. As well as, the versatility and quickness to play in either of the Bryant or Branch roles, 5-tech or 3-tech. Although I think Quinn prefers a quicker, penetrating DT at 3-tech.
5(138): CB, Tharold Simon, 6’2, 202 (8/10, B)
What you need to know: Great value, and a good scheme fit for what we do. Simon possesses the size, speed, read/react skills, fluidity, length (with long arms), play-making ability, physicality, and competitiveness the Seahawks covet. However, he lacks the strength, explosion, overall technique, and perhaps the intelligence one would like at this position and he’ll have to improve in these areas to become a starter for our defense. Questionable character issues but nothing the Legion of Boom can’t control as he went from being arrested one night to having his own day the next in his hometown.
Where he fits in: It’s starting to become very crowded at the position but it’s a good problem to have, I can see Simon pretty much red-shirting this year while developing his strength and technique to NFL standards. Simon with the right attitude could be Richard Sherman 2.0 in a year or two if he puts in the hard work to become better.
5 (158): TE, Luke Willson, 6’5, 250 (7.75/10, C+)
What you need to know: Prior to the 2012 season, Willson was considered one of the top TE is the country as he was on the John Mackey award watch list but an unfortunately high ankle sprain derailed his season and he was buried by a strong depth chart. Yet, he was still voted to Honorable Mention at his position by his conference’s coaches despite a weak stat line. He was the 2nd Rice TE taken behind 49er’s Vance McDonald and both players are comparable:
Vance McDonald: 112 catches, 1504 yards, 15 TDs
Luke Willson: 78 catches, 986 yards, 9 TDs.
LW stats adjusted to VM catch line: 112 catches, 1416 yards, 13 TDs
VM: 6'4, 267 / 31 bench reps/ 33 ½ Vert/ 9’11 Broad Jump
LW: 6'5, 250/ 23 bench reps/ 38 Vert/ 10’02 Broad Jump
VM: 4.60 40-yd dash/ 2.78 20-yd dash/ 1.68 10-yd dash
LW: 4.51 40-yd dash/ 2.57 20-yd dash/ 1.53 10-yd dash
VM: 4.53 20 Yard Shuttle/ 7.08 3-Cone Drill/ 2nd Round pick
LW: 4.29 20 Yard Shuttle/ 7.08 3-Cone Drill/ 5th round pick
Where he fits in: Willson, while not as big or strong as McDonald, is faster, slighty more explosive, and likely more fluid. And his measurables would rank in the top 10 in most categories among fellow TEs had he participated in the Combine. The Seahawks will utilized his extraordinary speed to take the tops off of defenses as well as figure into their offense as a big WR and Red-Zone threat. Behind Miller and McCoy, he’ll have a year or so to develop his core strength and blocking fundamentals which is more or less a necessity in the Seahawks run heavy system before he becomes a legit contributor.
6(194): RB, Spencer Ware, 5’11”, 230 (8/10, B)
What you need to know and where he fits: Big, tough, aggressive, downhill runner reminiscent of a battering ram and perhaps an RB even more physical than Marshawn Lynch. Possesses long arms and big hands to factor as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Doesn’t possess the explosive speed or all around skills to be a featured running back but adds tremendous value as a situational player especially in short yardage endeavors. Carroll has indicated as much using Ware as a swing back much like Leonard Weaver with the goal of developing his skills at FB. A position that Ware played his first two seasons at LSU.
I give Ware a high-grade because his skillset and physicality to be a potentially tenacious FB. Something the Ravens used a 4th round pick on to draft Kyle Jusczcyk.
7th Round: B+ (8.75/10)
LB/LEO Ty Powell, 6’2, 250: Seahawks got a player much like they did when they used a 5th rounder on Korey Toomer last year. Powell is athletic, big, fast, strong, excels in every measurable but lacks experience especially against elite competition. Much of the 7th Round grade is based on Powell’s low risk/high reward.
OL, Ryan Seymour, 6’4, 303.
OG, Jared Smith, 6’4, 302.
OT, Michael Bowie, 6’5, 330.
I’m not going to sit here and act like I know much about these players, but after the Seahawks neglected to draft an offensive lineman in the first 6 rounds much to my disliking. Schneider and Carroll gave much of the 7th round to Tom Cable. In Seymour, he picked a solid, versatile lineman with experience vs the SEC’s best. In Smith, he picked another DT conversion project with the means of turning him into a guard. In Bowie, he gets a tremendous yet seemingly average workout player on paper but one who has dominated his opposition on the field.
77.5/90 = 86/100
Initial Draft Grade (B)