I have mixed feelings about this draft, but I usually do until Tim Ruskell's picks really start to shine. I think the guy is fantastic at evaluating talent...
Anyway, here's my thoughts:
1. The Lawrence Jackson pick shocked me. I really thought we would go with Merling but I understand that he has injury concerns and that we actually targeted Jackson. I wish we could have traded down further because I think he would have been available in the middle of the second round. I think some suspected we were going to go with Balmer, but his size makes him awkward for either position he supposedly plays and has the "one year wonder" tag on him right now. Jackson, on the other hand, played strong but was streaky and could have benefited greatly from being in the company of good talent (Sedrick Ellis, the #7 overall pick). The knock on him is that he disappears when double-teamed (see point #3 for reasons why this isn't going to be a problem). For the Seahawks this pick didn't seem to make sense at first since we're pretty solid on DE with Kerney and Tapp, but being able to rotate in fresh guys (also remember Baraka Atkins too) will hopefully make our defense a real force the way the Giants appeared to be against NE.
2. John Carlson was my top choice for TE in this year's draft and I'm glad we got him. He's the most complete TE with great blocking skills as well as good hands. His final year in school had him "dropping" a lot of passes, although this was in the hands of poor QBs. He excelled in the company of Brady Quinn, an obvious NFL talent. He was knocked for not having a good top end speed during the combine which raised question on whether he would be able to work the seam, however he was ill that day. His pro day workout had him much faster. My problem with this pick is that we moved up and had to give away our 3rd round pick to do so. We really needed to find depth for our O-line and since none of the top end OTs fell to us (I thought Otah might have made it there at one point) we needed that 3rd round pick for O-line depth and possibly finding a gem to eventually replace Walter Jones. We'll have to wait on that for next year where we won't be able to just take the best available player--we'll need to trade up and grab a high end LT or gamble and possibly suffer for years to come. I don't think we can address this via free agency because of our salary cap issues.
3. Red Bryant is a monster against the run. As a matter of fact, he's going to be such a monster than he'll need to be doubled every time he's in the game. What that means is that the knock on Lawrence Jackson isn't going to be an issue, or if they do double Jackson they couldn't possibly double Bryant as well. This was some smart thinking by the Seattle brass IMO. Hopefully we can mold Bryant into a solid pass rusher as well. *IF* we can have a healthy Tubbs this year as well, look out. I've heard that Bryant brings a mean streak to the team and is a natural leader. On top of that, he's soon to be Jacob Green's son-in-law. That has to be a good sign...
4. At first I thought ill of the Owen Schmitt draft because, I must admit, I'm a huge fan of Leonard Weaver. But this move isn't necessarily to replace Weaver, but David Kirtman. Schmitt is *crazy* (I've read that he beats his own bare head with his helmet when he messes up!!!) and brings a great level of intensity to the game. He's a special teams beast and was on virtually all the special teams in college. Besides, I half expect Duckett to fail here and for Weaver to eventually take his place. Schmitt will fill into Weaver's role (actually, Mack Strong's role) nicely.
5. Drafting a Long Snapper (Tyler Schmitt) is strange, but given the woes we had there last year I understand. I just think we could have easily waited for the 7th round on this one.
6. Justin Forsett is another special teams guy who I'm not sure will make the team. But he's good for our practice squad and maybe with some great play he could break camp with the team. We just have too many RB options to need another one who doesn't necessarily have the top end speed or size unless he really fills that gap in special teams that we need filled.
7. I can't believe we ended up getting Brandon Coutu so late. He's arguably the best kicker in the draft and we got him with our last pick. He's a little streaky and a leg injury might have spooked teams off from him, but he's got power (a 58 yarder is his longest) and we have Olindo Mare in right now to maybe help the kid along.
So I guess I think our draft was pretty good. The Jackson pick looks a lot better with Bryant. We probably could have waited on drafting Carlson and Tyler Schmitt, but overall it wasn't bad. We'll find out for sure in about 2 years...