Judging a draft class for a particular team is purely a speculative exercise since no one can be sure how successful players might be in the National Football League. There have been plenty of players over the years who have been highly-touted prospects but have been unable to transition to the professional game. Sometimes this is due to injuries, and other times players just do not adjust to the speed and complexity of the NFL. Still, draft “experts” tend to agree on certain players in terms of their “upside” in the NFL and some picks can be forecasted with some level of accuracy. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks’ 2010 NFL Draft.
The Seahawks and new coach Pete Carroll were fortunate enough to have two first-round picks, and analysts seem to believe that they made two solid selections. The first was offensive tackle Russell Okung from Oklahoma State, who was picked 6th overall. Seattle is hoping that Okung will replace the legendary Walter Jones at left tackle and solidify one of the most crucial positions on the field. With the 14th pick, Seattle took Earl Thomas, a hard-hitting safety from the University of Texas. The Seahawks were not great on defense on 2009, and they are hoping that Thomas will provide a much-needed spark on the defensive side of the ball.
In the second round, Seattle picked Golden Tate, a wide receiver from Notre Dame. Tate is not a dominant physical presence, but he was a tough player in college who was willing to fight for the ball. Seattle is hoping that Tate can work hard in the NFL and be an effective compliment to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Tate will need to run effective routes in the pros since he does not have superior size or breakaway speed.
Analysts believe that Seattle got some good value in later rounds, though speculating gets more difficult as teams get deeper into the draft. Walter Thurmond is a cornerback from Oregon who may help the defense if he can return from a knee injury. Anthony McCoy has had some personality issues, but the USC tight end is a familiar player to Pete Carroll who may be able to harness his talent.
Overall, the Seattle Seahawks are regarded as having a great 2010 draft. Again, it is extremely difficult to predict the success of college players before they ever step onto an NFL field. What may be just as significant is the fact that Seattle traded for LenDale White of the Tennessee Titans during the draft. If White is healthy and productive, the Seahawks may have addressed a number of their off-season needs through draft picks and savvy trades.