Seattle Seahawks Draft Grades

James Carpenter was drafted by the Seahawks 25th overall in the first round of the 2011 N.F.L. Draft. This much is for sure...he certainley had a lot of work already vs N.F.L. talent at Crimson Tide practices (Picture source

In 2010, I thought the Seahawks had a tremendous draft grabbing the top rated LT in the draft as well as a serious playmaker in the secondary. They got good value through all rounds of the draft. 2011 could be a different story. Let’s break it down.

1st round: James Carpenter, OL, Alabama

In the draftnik community, Carpenter was not valued highly, but in Rick Gosselin’s position rankings which are based on team inputs: James Carpenter was rated pretty high. Carpenter is a versatile offensive linemen who will probably play right tackle for the Seahawks this year, but could also play in the interior of the offensive line.

Philosophy of the pick: A

Clearly, the Seahawks had Carpenter rated pretty highly or they would not have passed on Jimmy Smith and Gabe Carimi. Grabbing an offensive linemen that is rated high your board to play RT for the next 10 years is always a good idea.

Player Value: C-

This pick was not as big a reach as people made it out to be, but it was a reach for sure. One of my top players in the entire draft was Jimmy Smith and he was still available for the Seahawks at 25th overall. Gabe Carimi was also rated higher. I preferred Derrek Sherrod, Mark Ingram, Jimmy Smith and a host of other players over Carpenter here. It’s not the worst pick ever, but it’s not a very good pick.

Round 3 John Moffitt, G, Wisconsin

If the Seahawks had drafted Gabe Carimi in the first round they would have added two players who had great chemistry and big time talent and infused them into the line which I think could have been a brilliant move. Moffit has the ability to play both guard and center and should help the Seahawks improve their run game, which was hit and miss (more often miss) last year.

Philosophy: A. Adding a tough interior offensive linemen was a good move by the Seahawks.

Player Value: B-

This is not the greatest value under  the sun, but it’s a pretty good value pick. I liked Jah Reid a lot more, but he is a right tackle prospect and they added Carpenter who will probably play right tackle in the league. Jerrel Jernigan, Drake Nevis, Christian Ballard are just a few of the players who were better values, but this was a very solid pick by the Seahawks.

Round 4: K.J. Wright, LB, Mississippi State

The Seahawks have talented linebackers with Aaron Curry and Lofa Tatupu and David Hawthorne, so this was not a need pick. WRight will immediately add depth and contribute on special teams and could eventually push for a starting spot.

Player Value: B+

My favorite pick the Seahawks made in this draft. Wright was one of a few players I would have even drafted as a 43 outside linebacker. Wright has a very good all around game with a good blend of size, strength, and athleticism. He could be very good on special teams coverage units initially. This was a good pick by the Seahawks.

Round 4: Kris Durham, WR, Georgia

Player Value: D

Durham exploded onto the scene during the Texas vs the Nation Game and is a good size/speed prospect. But I think the Seahawks took him a round early, easy and perhaps two rounds earlier. At that point in the draft  the Seahawks had to pass up a lot of talented players to take Durham. The speedy Edmund Gates, Greg Salas, and the very good Tandon Doss to take Durham. I would have taken Doss. I don’t like this pick by the Seahawks.

Round 5: Richard Sherman, CB, Stanford

Player value: B

A nice pick. Sherman is a very intriguing prospect. He’s a former wide receiver with excellent size (6’3), decent speed (4.56) and top-notch hands for a defensive back. Sherman has very good upside and is well worth the risk at that point in the draft. Sherman is considered a good character guy, hard worker, and a willing tackler. What Sherman lacks is fluidity in his hips and experience.

Round 5: Mark Legree, S, Appalachian State

Player Value: C-

LeGree is not a great coverage guy, but is a high football I.Q. guy. Whether or not he has the physical talent to play in the N.F.L. is a big question. Wes Bunting thought he was a UDFA caliber player. LeGree was taken over players like Parnell McPhee, Quan Sturdivant, Jordan Todman, Greg Jones.

Legree was also taken over S Tyler Sash who would have been much better value at that point in the draft.

Round 6 Bryon Maxwell, CB, Clemson

Player Value: D+

Last year, Pete Carroll made 20,000 roster moves in order to find guys who fit his system and were “Seahawks guys”. He clearly believes in the power of team chemistry, and unity. I think that philosophy could be seen throughout this draft where he was taking less talented players that he thinks fits the Seahawks over the best player available. Maxwell was low rated. There was only a handful of players rated lower than Maxwell on

Round 7 pick: Lazarius Levingston, DL, LSU

Player Value D+

Greg Romerus? I’m not sure why they passed on him there. Still I’ve never been that concerned with 6th and 7th round picks. Very few pan out anyway so it’s not a big deal and doesn’t really influence a draft grade negatively.

Round 7 pick: Malcolm Smith, OLB, USC

Player Value C

With the 242nd pick you’re not looking to get all stars. Smith has USC connections and if Pete Carroll thinks he can come in and play special teams and be a reserve guy so be it. Clearly, Jeremey Beal, Deunta Williams, Eric Hagg, Lee Ziemba are all more accomplished players and better values, but this is again no big deal.



Loved the draft last year. Lukewarm at best on this draft. I think a D grade could be justified for this draft if you believe James Carpenter is a huge reach. I think it was a moderate reach. He’ll forever be compared to Jimmy Smith, Gabe Carimi, and Derek Sherrod, but offensive line is one of the positions where teams reach for players. It’s just a fact, it happens.  The rest of the picks were nothing special. K.J. Wright was good value. Moffitt was solid value, and I liked the Richard Sherman pick, but all in all this was a below average draft filled with reaches. I believe that Carroll was focusing on getting players who fit the system and the “Seahawks way”, but I have no proof of that. It seems that way, some peculiar choices.

What do you think Seahawks fans?

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Tags: Alabama Crismon Tide James Carpenter Seahawks Draft Seahawksdraftblog Seattle Seahawks

  • Graeme

    I don’t think Carpenter was a reach – I really don’t think he’d have made it past the Steelers, and even if he did, he would have been snapped up by Green Bay in the first round.
    Obviously he’s going to be compared to Carimi since he was more highly rated, but obviously Carpenter was their man.
    After the Bears loss I said to myself we needed to draft a RT and a guard with out first two picks and form a dominant offensive line, I didn’t think it was going to happen, so the fact that it did leaves me very pleased with the first two picks.
    Most everything else I agree with except the Kris Durham pick, if JS is to believed, KC wanted to trade up to our spot in the 4th to draft the very same guy, so (if true) we got Durham at the right time, as they were just 11 picks behind us. I think he’s got the right combination of size and speed to give us a new dimension on offense, but only time will tell.
    For me the Draft was a solid B, but if Carpenter and Moffit work out then it’s an A right there.

    • Jesse Bartolis

      That’s fair. I said I didn’t think it was a huge reach, but just based on my own big board it was a reach. I preferred Carimi and Sherrod more, but perhaps Carroll was looking for more versatility, which Carpenter does offer.

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  • Brodie

    Why Carpenter is more valuable than Carimi: he has the feet and the athleticism to play LT. Russell Okung flashed some greatness when he played, and even displayed an ability to successfully play through pain. Unfortunately injuries kept him off the field anyway for much of the season, and getting hurt was a factor for him in college as well. The Seahawks were wise to invest in a RT that looks like he will be able to slide to the other side and protect the blind side if/when Okung come off the field.

    • Jesse Bartolis

      That’s a fair point. I still think that Carimi can be a top notch right tackle, while I think Carpenter is a more versatile player. I don’t think it was as huge a reach as most people do, but I’d still would have gone Carimi or Sherrod or Jimmy Smith

  • Hawk_Eye

    We will see in three years who is the better player between Carpenter, Carimi or Sherrod or Jimmy Smith. I watched the senior bowl and I thought Carpenter was a better run and pass blocker than Carimi or Sherrod. And Carimi was constantly getting beat around the corner by pass rushers. My money is on Carpenter.

  • Daniel Bruun

    I think i will leave it to Tom Cable as to which one of the tackles who were the better of Carpenter, Sherrod and Carimi. Bills, Steelers, Packers and the Bears all preferred Carpenter over the other two, so this is just a matter of a lot of draft nicks who missed out on Carpenter, simply because of the fact that his name never really never got out there, except for within the war rooms.

    I think Moffitt will be a very good player in Cable’s scheme so that’s also a nice fit.

    Durham is going to complement or even replace Mike Williams if he goes down, so we always have that big receiver, that’s why we passed Tandon and the other receivers you mention.

    Overall i’ll give this draft a B, which could eventually become a C or an A. It all depends on whether we succesfully managed to solidify our offensive line, and fix some gaping holes in our secondary.

    • Jesse Bartolis

      That’s a fair assessment. I was perfectly aware of Carpenter. I just, personally, thought he was more versatile as a guard/tackle player who could be a jack of all trades master of none kind of player.

      I think Carimi can be an excellent right tackle, and Sherrod is a pretty good finesse kind of offensive tackle.

      I believe in arm length and hand size for OL (though that’s obviously more of a guideline and not a firm rule)

      Carpenter: arms 34, hands 9.75
      Carimi arms 35, hands 10 3/8
      Sherrod arms 35 3/8, hands: 11

      It’s not everything, but given the choice between comparable talents I’ll take the better measurables and not the guy who it has been written about “could play with a little more fire” (

      Don’t absolutely hate the pick, don’t love it.

      That could be true of Durham, but I’m always weary of drafting players just to complement another player. Good players are good players, and Durham to me is not as good a player as Doss for certain.

      If it makes you feel any better wrote they thought Sherrod was more of a day three player.