Saturday, May 17, 2008

Will Lightning Strike Twice?

by: Michael Steffes

Ok. I am talking about a current Seahawk. See if you can guess who. He played college ball in the ACC. He started his college career as a defensive linemen, playing both end and tackle. After several years on the defensive side of the ball, he was moved over to the offensive line and started to flourish. After showing enough raw skills at that position, the Seahawks used a mid-round draft pick on him as an offensive linemen.

Who is your guess? Ok, now....

You guessed Mansfield Wrotto didn't you. You are right, in a way. But that is not who I am talking about.

I am talking about Sean Locklear. Did you realize that? I didn't until today, and I thought it would be an interesting talking point.

Locklear started his career at NCST as a defensive end and defensive tackle. After two years he was shifted over to the offensive line. In his senior year he saw time starting at right guard, right tackle, and even left tackle vs Maryland. Locklear was taken by the Hawks in the 3rd round and after one year on the bench, he became the starting right tackle. That squad went to the Superbowl, and Lock hasn't looked back. He just signed a lengthy deal with the Hawks that gave him 16 million guaranteed.

So now lets talk Mansfield Wrotto. Wrotto enters his second season with the Hawks. Up until now he is simply the player acquired via the pick traded to the Hawks for Darrell Jackson. However, he also looks to be a important cog of the future on the Seahawks line. With Mike Wahle an aged free agent taking over on the left side, and Rob Sims likely switching to the right side, Wrotto isn't expected to start this year. That is probably for the best. However, that doesn't diminish the importance of this year for him. He may be asked to play before too long.

Unlock like Locklear, he only got to play one year, not two, on the offensive line in college. Essentially that puts him one year behind were Lock was. Now I am not meaning to imply that Wrotto is the next Sean Locklear, because nobody knows that at this point. What I want to point out, is that despite some poor reviews from the reporters out at mini camp, there is no need to give up hope just yet. Instead, lets give him another year.

As mini camps and training season move on, I will try and update the status of this young man. However in the meantime, lets take solace in the fact that this move is not unprecedented. In fact, the Seahawks have already had great success with a very similar player.