Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Second Round Studs

by: Michael Steffes

After a brief respite yesterday due to all the excitement, I am bringing back the final three pieces of the round by round roster analysis. You may be asking...three? Well, yes. I have entered in a very limited amount of roster data and stats into a program used for statistically analyzing data, so on Friday I am going to provide an in depth summation to the series. I am sure you are all pulling your hair out already!... or is that because it seems like an eternity until the Seahawks make their first pick?

Oh well, pass the time with this. Here is the second round breakdown.....

The first thing that you may notice is that we have exceed the 5 player average that has been pervading the previous rounds. This would be the first indication that first day picks tend to stick around longer. Something to also notice though, is that an inordinate amount of these guys were signed or traded for, so it could just be because only looking at one team represents a small sample size. The Hawks may just have liked free agents who happen to come from the second round. Maybe second rounders have better attitudes?


Josh Wilson, the top pick last year for the Hawks, will be an interesting case to watch this year. He is clearly going to have a lot to show. His shining moment last year was his return TD against the Rams. He was banged up a lot and he has a hard worker in Jordan Babineaux to climb over on the depth chart. However, the mere financial investment may make him the Hawks nickelback . Lets hope he is up for the challenge.

Darrel Tapp, a prime example of what to possibly expect from Wilson. The 2nd rounder from the year before improved dramatically in his second year. His shining moment also came against the Rams, as he terrorized Mark Bulger on a soggy Sunday last year. I think most of the Seahawks fans, and the Seahawks brass would like to see a little more consistency this year. If we do, the defense will be a unit to be feared.


Two of the key cogs in the revamped run game came from the second...

Julius Jones, basically an unknown quantity. Some are predicting him as one of the better free agent signings. Some feel he is an underachiever. One thing that most do agree on though is that his presence will improve the passing game. Considering that is the strength of this team it seems his addition will make for a more well rounded backfield.

Mo Morris. Mo actually had his best year as a pro last year. He set career highs in almost ever statistical category. His role on the team upcoming is undetermined. It is possible that if the Hawks find a franchise back he will become trade bait. If he stays though, he will be the one back with an intricate knowledge of the system. He has proven to be a reliable back up and a great change of pace back. If he gets a role as part of the rotation, and considering it is a contract year, Morris could be looking to improve on his personal highs again in 2008'.


Along with the two running backs, two Seahawk receivers also came from this round. Neither of who were drafted by the Hawks.

Deion Branch, who outlived his 2nd round pick by being traded for a first rounder two years ago is a former Superbowl MVP. He also has an injured knee and may miss the first half of the season. Branch has been capable when on the field, the problem has been staying healthy. 2008' looks to be another year in which he will almost certainly not play a full compliment of games. When he does get in though, this will be his third year in the system, so he may be capable of providing a late season spark and being an effective target in the playoffs. Assuming the Hawks are there.

Bobby Engram. Oh sweet Bobby. A second round pick practically given up on by the Bears. Yet here he is at the mature age of 35 playing at a pro bowl level. He is Matt's security blanket. He is also on the last year of his deal and possibly his career. Even more of a reason to get the young guys some experience this year. Bobby, all of us are keeping our fingers crossed for one more good year and to send you out a winner.


Mike Wahle. Wahle has one pro bowl under his belt and has been consistently solid. He has rarely missed games, and this year he will be counted on to open some holes in Seattle again. There are some questions as to whether or not he has lost his strength, but the early word was that he was impressive during the off season conditioning. Either way, his toughness and attitude should help to bring some fire to the bellys of the other line men.

Deon Grant. What a difference a year makes, huh! After the safety position was an unmitigated disaster in 2006, Grant was brought in to solidify the position. Things started out well. He was named captain in his first year here. Along with that, he helped make the secondary one of the strongest units on the team. His veteran leadership figures to again be his strength. Lets hope he can stave off losing a step for a few more years. Who knows? Maybe this is the year that the league wakes up on Roy Williams and Grant makes a pro bowl.


Loooooofa Tatuuuuuuuuuuupu! Can't you just imagine the PA announcer introducing him here? Do you invision him waving the 12 flag too?

Since the moment Lofa came to Seattle, as a reach I might add, he has been a model Seahawk. All the way from his Pro Bowl rookie season, to his signing of a team friendly, Seahawk for life deal. What will inevitably be known as Tim Ruskell finest pick, he moved up and selected the true definition of an impact player from the second round. Call me when Lofa doesn't make the pro bowl. He is one of the most respected players in the league, but almost an afterthought by ESPN. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is exactly how he had it planned. Seriously, can I get a Lofa Fathead yet?

The second round is going to be a huge pick for the Seahawks this year. In fact, their are indications they may find a way to choose twice in the second. When you consider that a good number of playmakers, on both sides of the ball have come from this round that would be a good thing. I am sure Atlanta would love to have Timmy and his second round success rate this year, considering they have three picks. Sorry Falcons, he is all ours, and we expect another star from the second Ruskell!