Despite a good free agency period last year, I didn't know what to expect out of the Seahawks in 2011; all I knew was that it would end badly.
Why? Because Tarvaris Jackson was signed to be the starting quarterback. Him or Charlie Whitehurst.
As a person, I'm sure that Jackson is a nice guy, the kind of guy I'd even invite over for a dinner of alder-planked salmon with beurre monte sauce. As a quarterback, however, I hate him in the same way I hate Starbucks, that professional basketball team in Oklahoma City, and people who ride bicycles on major thoroughfares as if they were driving an actual vehicle (though not necessarily in that order).
However, the Seahawks were not horrendous last year. In fact, up until Week 16, the Seahawks were still in contention for a wild card spot. Again, this was with Tarvaris Jackson under center.
How did this happen? Well, the defense proved to be downright beastly last year, ranking 9th against the pass and 11th against the run according to Football Outsiders, and the Seahawks discovered how a handful of Skittles can turn an ordinary, mild-mannered running back into Beast Mode (otherwise known as the emergence of Marshawn Lynch).
Combined, this gave Seahawks fans a glimmer of hope that maybe they wouldn't spend the next decade or so mired in a pit of inescapable suck.
Still, the Hawks did have two pressing needs that had to be addressed.
What are they? You'll have to hit the jump to find out!
The first was to find their quarterback of the future because, as we established earlier, Tarvaris Jackson is not the guy. That was taken care of when they signed former Packers QB Matt Flynn to a three-year deal. Hopefully he'll do for the blue and
green gray what Matt Schaub has done for the Texans.
The other need was to find another pass rushing threat. To put it kindly, last year's pass rush bordered on non-existent; relying almost exclusively on Chris Clemons in that role. They've signed Jason Jones away from the BESFs (and now, for him, the healing can begin), but he'll be a situational pass rusher at best. They don't need a defensive end because they just re-signed Red Bryant, who is a defensive leader and vital to the team's run defense.
No, the Seahawks need an outside rusher who can play linebacker, but can also line up at defensive end on obvious passing downs. A hybrid, if you will.
That said, on behalf of the 12th Man (suck it, Texas A&M), with the 12th overall pick, the Seattle Seahawks select...Courtney Upshaw (OLB--Alabama).
For a defense that uses a lot of 4-3 and 3-4 concepts, Upshaw is an ideal fit because of his versatility and, from the scouting reports I've read, is actually a better pass rusher with his hand out of the dirt as opposed to playing on the line.
With Upshaw and Clemons rushing the passer, Red Bryant and the stout run defense from last year, and the best young secondary in the NFL, the Seahawks' defense has the capacity for becoming not just a great defense, but an elite one.
Now that Upshaw is off the board, we move on to USMC_Texas, who will be picking for the Arizona CardinLOLs.
Updated Draft Results:
1. Indianapolis Colts--Andrew Luck (QB--Stanford)
2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis)--Robert Griffin III (QB--Baylor)
3. Minnesota Vikings--Matt Kalil (OT--USC)
4. Cleveland Browns--Trent Richardson (RB--Alabama)
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers--Dontari Poe (DT--Memphis)
6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)--Justin Blackmon (WR--Oklahoma State)
7. Jacksonville Jaguars--Morris Claiborne (CB--LSU)
8. Miami Dolphins--Ryan Tannehill (QB--Texas A&M)
9. Carolina Panthers--Quinton Coples (DE--North Carolina)
10. Buffalo Bills--Luke Kuechly (LB--Boston College)
11. Kansas City Chiefs--David DeCastro (OG--Stanford)
12. Seattle Seahawks--Courtney Upshaw (LB--Alabama)
13. Arizona Cardinals--USMC_Texas
14. Dallas Cowboys--JayRedd
15. Philadelphia Eagles--splanket
16. New York Jets--rexthejet
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland)--Deaconbrodie
18. San Diego Chargers-- YohannDookeyBlue
19. Chicago Bears--Fuzion
20. Tennessee Titans--Daniel Knick
21. Cincinnati Bengals--Deaconbrodie
22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta)--WreckNTexan
23. Detroit Lions--Mellowcheese
24. Pittsburgh Steelers--texanphil
25. Denver Broncos--Riott, La Voz
26. Houston Texans--BRB Staff
27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans)--NoSafetiesNeeded
28. Green Bay Packers--HabitualHoustonFan
29. Baltimore Ravens--MD.Texan
30. San Francisco 49ers--TexansDC
31. New England Patriots--NoSafetiesNeeded
32. New York Giants--DaGoaT