Seahawks about to cut top draft pick after just 1 season and 0 snaps - report
Even dumb NFL teams can stumble upon elite talent. Just look at the Cleveland Browns drafting the recently retired Joe Thomas or the Miami Dolphins’ near-annual free agent spending sprees that eventually netted them Ndamukong Suh in 2015.
Sometimes that elite talent can amass over the years and even coalesce into a good team.
But the biggest difference between a good team and a great team is a Bill Belichick. In lieu of a cutthroat, possibly rule-breaking, future Hall of Fame coach, however, the biggest difference between a good team and a great team is the NFL draft.
Even the most elite talent eventually decline or simply become too expensive for a team to stomach. That’s why it’s so important for a team to nail the draft. Talented players on inexpensive rookie contracts can either replace outgoing talent or can make it more palpable to splurge to keep elite talent.
The Seattle Seahawks’ entire “Legion of Boom” era was predicated on some historically phenomenal drafting.
In three straight drafts between 2010 and 2012, the Seahawks acquired Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, K.J. Wright, Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson. That hefty pool of talent is all the more surreal when you take into consideration the fact that of those picks, only Thomas was a first-rounder. Everyone else came in the second round or later.
Buoyed by those draft classes, the Seahawks became a perennial playoff contender and eventually crushed Peyton Manning and the Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII. It was Seattle’s first and only Super Bowl title.
Since then, however, the Seahawks have struggled mightily with the draft.
Seahawks first draft pick last six years: Malik McDowell, Germain Ifedi, Frank Clark, Paul Richardson, Christine Michael, Bruce Irvin, James Carpenter
— Danny Kelly (@DannyBKelly) April 16, 2018
And things are only getting worse for the team, with the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reporting that Seattle is on the verge of cutting its first pick of the 2017 NFL draft, defensive tackle Malik McDowell.
The #Seahawks have not yet cleared 2017 2nd round pick DT Malik McDowell, and source said they are expected to release him in the near future. The hope is that another team will medically clear him.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 16, 2018
In fairness to the Seahawks, they couldn’t have planned for McDowell to get into a serious ATV accident just as the season was about to begin. McDowell’s various injuries kept him out of the entire 2017 season, and it’s unclear whether he’ll ever recover enough to be able to play in the NFL.
Cutting McDowell would be a tough one for the Seahawks to stomach, especially considering how perilously thin their defensive line has become after losing Sheldon Richardson in free agency to the Vikings and trading Michael Bennett to the Eagles. With the secondary in shambles after Sherman’s release and Chancellor’s ongoing neck injury, there was going to be a lot of pressure on the defensive line to generate a pass rush.
That would be a lot harder without McDowell, who was a devastating interior pass rusher in college at Michigan State.
The Seahawks missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2011, which meant that some changes may have been necessary. But the complete teardown that the Seahawks seem to be engaging in could only have been accelerated after years of poor drafting.
The Seahawks have the 18th overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft, which starts April 26, and they have significant needs on both the offensive and defensive lines.
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