Saturday, April 26, 2008

Looking Ahead to Tomorrow

by: Michael Steffes

The Hawks did very well for themselves on day one of the draft. Tim Ruskell said he felt that defensive End was a bigger need than defensive tackle. Assuming that Rocky Bernard escapes a serious suspension, I think he is right. He still may add depth, but if you look at the players that are available through FA, if the team had someone go down, tackles are the ones available. Grady Jackson, Larry Triplett, and Rod Coleman could all play if asked. Also, the Seahawks grabbed Ellis Wyms of the scrap heap at the end of camp last year ad did quite well. So getting Lawrence Jackson was a huge gain. He is a prototypical 43 end who will be a solid player for a long time.

Trading up for a John Carlson is likely to be a hotly debated move. It mostly depends on how the picks fall tomorrow and how Carlson produces. Mike Holmgren has already said he wants him to start and he expects him to be a core player for this team in the future. Mike Sando described him as "the anti Stevens." If this works out half as good as the similar move made for Lofa, this team is in great shape. Lofa was a standout player right away, and if any TE in this class has a chance to be, it is Carlson.

To continue with what tomorrow's prospects look like....

To be perfectly honest, I wanted to be able to tell you that I thought the Hawks would be able to get back into the third. With some of the players on the board, I am sure they would like to. However, it just doesn't seem like it is in the cards.

First, they would probably have to be willing to give up next years second. That is not as far fetched as it may seem. If there was a player they felt presented a good opportunity, I think they would consider that, despite Ruskell saying earlier this week he didn't like trading future picks. Tim Ruskell likes a pick in every round, so I wouldn't be surprised if he tried.

What I can't figure out is who would be willing to give up their picks for next years second. There are two teams with 3 picks in the 3rd, Baltimore and Kansas City. KC needs players by the truckload, so I think they may keep them all. Although there is a cap teams have to stay under when signing rookies, so they may not be able to. Baltimore is who holds the Hawks old second. They need players too. However, even though unlikely, it is possible they could be enticed for an extra second next year.

If the Hawks do manage to get up, I suspect it will be to take a linebacker. Linebackers slipped way passed where they were projected because the run on linemen in the first pushed the run on wide receivers into the second. Several linebackers I think all fit the Seahawks very well are on the board. They include...

Brian Kehl, BYU.........Xavier Addibi, VT
Wesley Woodard, Ku......Jonathan Goff, Vandy
Tavares Gooden, MI......Beau Bell, UNLV

As you can see there are a bunch of them. I didn't even include Dan Conner who is available too. I think the prize is Addibi, but I sense the Hawks would be after Kehl. I suspect linebacker will be a popular choice in the third. Hopefully the Hawks can muster up a third, because Ruskell has had a ton of success in that round since he got here (Hill, Mebane). Frank Hughes posted that he expects the Hawks to take two linebackers tomorrow. I think it more likely they take one and sign an UDFA or two at that position.

Regardless of whether or not the Seahawks can get back into the third or not, expect them to get an offensive linemen in the fourth. It is a pattern with Ruskell. At this point they could take any position. A center would be smart. Good Tackles that the Hawks like are available in Anthony Collins and Kirk Barton. Also, SA favorite Roy Scheuning who wants to be in Seattle is available. It is hard to judge where these players will be taken at this point. There was a big time run on tackles, so a lot of needy teams filled that position. However, only one guard, Chilo Rachel was taken, by the Niners. So a run on guards could start. One Center was taken, and there are some viable prospects for the third tomorrow.

If the Hawks can get players they like at these positions. They may shoot for another late round WR, or maybe a safety, depending on which presents more value. I do think that one of the 7ths will be a specialist. No way Ruskell lets special teams become a huge abscess on a championship caliber team. He will make sure they find options to choose from. Go make your money tomorrow Timmy! Your work this year may be more crucial than ever before. We need a draft like the Giants had last year. Get errrrr done!. I am going to sort through contest entries. So you may hear more about that later. However, unless there is a trade, I will be back in the AM, Chris too. Remember, 3rd round starts 7am sharp!