Monday, April 21, 2008

Is Three the Key?

by: Michael Steffes

Lets take a brief respite from all the depressing talk about Rocky, and move back to the daily series of looking at where players were drafted. Clearly the other topic will be sorted out as things like this take their natural course.

Something else that takes its sweet time is the draft, and I can't wait to waste an entire weekend with it. One thing i will miss though, is the third round being day one. I understand the logic behind the change, but the third always seemed so crucial to me. Well, now we get a look at why. Here are the current Seahawks who were third round picks.......

The first thing that one notices about the third round is that many of the players here are serious building blocks. While a pick here or there from the previous rounds had found that status, every pick here could be argued as one.


Ok, so many of you should be scratching your head and saying Charlie Frye...building block. And you are right in some ways. Well Frye has become a third quarterback in Seattle, he was going to save Cleveland just two short years ago. They certainly considered him a building block then. So what does it say that TR was able to get him for a 6th. I think it was a shrewed move. John Clayton often talks about Frye's value. But here is the thing. We don't know what we have. And we won't until he gets to lead the team in the second half of the last preseason game. Of course the better he shows, the more valuable he will make himself when he becomes a free agent after the season. It is probably a catch 22. If he is good, and the Hawks can ink him long term, it is possible he bridges the Seahawks between Hasselbeck and when the team has a suitable franchise QB developed. We'll see....


Nate Burelson has taking his share of abuse from the internet community for his struggles the first year he was a Seahawk. The false numbers of his contract didn't help. However, last year he showed a tremendous amount of improvement. Not only that but he has drastically changed the performance of special teams. Pre 06, a return TD was something that just seemed more like luck than skill, however, since Nate has taken over, every kick is an electric event. He has proven that he can change a game when the team needs it the most. This alone makes him a building block.

No consider this... He led the team in receiving touchdowns last year. Plus, Mike Holmgren will tell you that it takes 3 years to truly grasp the system. This could be the year we see Nate explode. That will be key too, as the receiver group needs a another vet to count on. Regardless, Burelson figures to play a key role in this team in 2008 and beyond.


Leroy Hill burst on to the scene from the third round in 2005. He hasn't looked back. He is still getting better. All this while barley being noticed because of the presence of two other pro bowl linebackers on the Hawks. However..... and it is a big however, we don't really know Leroy's future with the team.

The team wants to look him up. Leroy has hired an agent who has had a lot of success in getting top free agent dollars for clients. Hopefully they lock him up, because it may not be to long before the team is replacing the other outside linebacker. All the more reason to keep Leroy around as a building block of the defense.


Building blocks of the defense, how about the way Brandon Mebane came from the third round and saved the Seahawks. The Hawks looked to be having issues with run defense again until injuries got Mebane in the starting lineup. The team then went 11 games in a row without allowing a 100 yard rusher. Coach Holmgren felt he should be considered from rookie of the year. Lets hope his development continues and he becomes a premier run stuffer. Judging by his recent interview on KJR, he certainly seems to be taking his offseason very seriously. Now lets just get a young, stud, insider rusher to put next to him.


Or the Lock, as in Sean Locklear. Since working his way into the starting lineup in 2005, Locklear has played above his draft position. He was rewarded with a nice contract this offseason, even showing his loyalty by taking less to remain with the Hawks. Is he Walters eventual successor? I am not so sure. He seems like he he could be a top right tackle for 15 years, why mess with that. At some point he will have to slide over if Walter gets a boo boo, so we will find out then. In the meantime, Hawks fans can feel comfortable knowing that the right side of the line is "Lock"ed down.

Overall, I was surprised that their weren't more third rounders on the team. In fact, the number is equal to that of the later rounds. However, we can see that the quality of the player is improving. All of these players are or have been starters in this league. Now, with the the third round in day two, the team may have the chance to take the night between and make sure they get the guys they want in this round. I would expect that the trend of finding starters in the third is likely to continue. Of course it will if your Tim Ruskell, with only David Greene gone, he has used his 4 third rounders into 3 solid pieces of the present and future.