Everyone always laughs at the instant draft grades handed out by analysts — the argument being that it is impossible to know how well a team did until its draft class has shown itself over a couple of years.
That part certainly is true. But the one part of the draft that can be judged immediately is the value a team received for its picks.
The Seahawks haven’t always gotten great value for their picks. It’s why they were judged harshly in 2011 and 2012 — even though they found future stars in both of those drafts.
This draft has pretty unanimously been judged a success — both because the Seahawks seemingly picked up good players who filled roster needs and because they got some great value along the way.
How good were they?
They got two players for their first-round pick, thanks to the trade with Denver: offensive lineman Germain Ifedi and tight end Nick Vannett.
They got a first-round talent in the second round, giving up just a fourth-rounder to move up and get defensive tackle Jarran Reed, whom John Schneider called a top-10 talent.
Due to the great depth at running back, they got Alex Collins in the late fifth round, even though he was rated a third-round talent. Schneider said Collins slid for the same reason Ahman Green once did (Seattle drafted Green in the third round in 1998): fumble issues.
They got wide receiver Kenny Lawler in the seventh round even though he was rated as high as the fourth or fifth by some.
The only two guys who might have been drafted too high were guard Rees Odhiambo and defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson.
Odhiambo was rated a seventh-rounder by some top analysts — largely because of his injury history. The Seahawks, however, judged him a “top-45 talent” when healthy, Schneider said, and they feel he will not have the same injury issues in the NFL.
The Seahawks used their third and final pick of the third round on him — and they might have done it knowing they were not scheduled to pick until deep in the fifth round on Day 3. It was a similar gap to 2014, when they reached for Justin Britt at the end of the second round because they did not have a third-round pick.
The Seahawks had a mid-third grade on Jefferson, which is why they surrendered a 2017 fourth-round pick to move back into the high fifth for him. But did they need to do that? Most analysts rated Jefferson as a sixth-round option, so it is quite possible they could have gotten him with their fifth-round comp pick (although that would have nixed Collins).
Of course, if Jefferson works out, it will be fair value for the Seahawks, who made the move because they expect a fourth-round comp for Bruce Irvin next year.
This was the first year since 2012 the Seahawks actually exercised a first-round pick, which means they will have a fifth-year option decision on Ifedi in 2019. Moving just to the edge of the first round and still getting a third-rounder while retaining a fifth-year option was a bonus.
The Seahawks’ rookies will cost them an extra $2.2 million or so against the salary cap. They will pay them a total of about $8.6 million in signing bonuses.
The projected four-year contracts: Ifedi $8.27 million, Reed $4.89 million, C.J. Prosise $3.03 million, Vannett $3 million, Odhiambo $2.99 million, Jefferson $2.59 million, Collins $2.25 million, Joey Hunt $2.17 million, Lawler & Zac Brooks $2.04 million.