“What is this, amateur hour?”
“There are huge questions.”
“A spit-take inducing selection.”
Draft pundits uttered those statements and worse as they roundly slammed the Seattle Seahawks and their draft selections last year.
And then third-round pick Russell Wilson wrestled the starting quarterback job away from Matt Flynn, tied the rookie record for touchdown passes and earned an invitation to the Pro Bowl.
First-round pick Bruce Irvin finished as the rookie leader in sacks.
Second-round pick Bobby Wagner led Seattle in tackles, and finished second in rookie defensive player of the year voting.
And seventh-round selection J.R. Sweezy, a defensive tackle turned offensive lineman, started five games at right guard for the Seahawks during their playoff run.
Seattle’s most productive draft in recent memory has draft analysts hedging their bets this time around, with most handing out solid Bs in evaluating this year’s draft haul.
Most note that the trade with Minnesota that brought Percy Harvin to Seattle served as a nice centerpiece to the Seahawks’ draft class this year.
“If Harvin is considered their first-round pick, you have to love what the Seahawks did in the first round,” said Peter Schrager, a draft analyst for Fox Sports. “I gave their draft an ‘F’ last year. That same draft netted Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson. I’m done questioning John Schneider. Until he proves us otherwise, he gets an A.”
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., the dean of draft analysts, also showed restraint after giving Seattle a league-worst C-minus grade for its 2012 draft. Kiper meted out a B grade for the Seahawks’ efforts this year.
“The selection of Christine Michael was a little bit of a luxury pick for me, but they lack that type of explosive back on the roster, so he offers a different look,” Kiper said. “They needed to add some rotation depth at defensive tackle and accomplished that with Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams, though I know a number of teams are concerned that Williams will have durability problems.
“Michael Bowie could stick as depth at tackle, as could Ty Powell at linebacker. I don’t know that Seattle added a starter among their picks, but they certainly added one in Harvin.”
Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, liked some of the potential of Seattle’s picks on the final day of the draft. He also gave the Seahawks a B grade.
“Of (the Seahawks’) nine selections on Day Three, expect the most noise to be heard from wide receiver Chris Harper, defensive tackle Jesse Williams and cornerback Tharold Simon,” Rang wrote. “Harper is a big-bodied wideout who shields defenders from the ball and possesses sneaky overall athleticism.
“Williams’ short arms and medical questions pushed him down the board, but he is a stout run defender with experience on the nose (position) and as a five-technique defensive end. Simon has the length and physicality that Seattle likes at cornerback.”
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports liked the addition of Penn State defensive tackle Jordan Hill, believing he can play right away.
Prisco gave Seattle a B grade but questioned whether the Harvin trade was really worth it.
“Without the first-round pick, the Seahawks still did a nice job of adding quality players,” Prisco said. “They also added some players with some character concerns, which doesn’t seem to bother this team.”