Ethan Pocic is the Seahawks’ league-high 16th offensive lineman drafted since Pete Carroll and John Schneider arrived in 2010. He also is a symptom of why Seattle has failed to put together a functional offensive line.
One scouting report calls Pocic a “five-for-one lineman offering roster flexibility.” The Seahawks love that so much they almost traded up for him — even though they have no idea where they are going to play him.
“He was the one guy that, quite frankly, we were really sweating out because we felt like you’re drafting maybe two and a half players with one guy,” Schneider said. “We debated whether to go up and get him or just wait and sweat it out.”
Carroll said, “We think he’s the most flexible (lineman) in the draft. … There (were not) very many offensive linemen in the draft … and we just thought he could fit into a number of spots and really help us out. We’ll see him at guard and tackle, knowing he can play center.”
And therein lies one of the recurring problems for Seattle’s line: The coaches are too indecisive.
Among the Hawks’ 17 O-line picks (including two this weekend), five have been drafted in the first two rounds — and three of the prior four have bounced around the line.
James Carpenter (2011 first-rounder) busted at right tackle and was moved to guard; Justin Britt (2014 second-rounder) has started at three positions in three years; Germain Ifedi (2016 first-rounder) is poised to move to tackle after spending his rookie season at guard; and now they have invested a starter-caliber pick in a guy they don’t even have a plan for.
“The place he has played the most is center, but he’s played everything,” Carroll said, before repeating a very common refrain from the past few years: “So we’re going to see how it fits and see where he fits in best for us. We have some spots we’re trying to work out as we move guys around a little bit here, but we think he gives us a great upside.”
So where might the 6-6, 310-pound Pocic start off?
It’s hard to see the Hawks moving Britt from center. “We think Justin played great last year,” Carroll said. “Really, in his first year there, he did a really good job.”
The Hawks signed Luke Joeckel to play on the left side, probably tackle, and are moving Ifedi to right tackle to replace the departed Garry Gilliam.
That leaves the two guard spots. Rees Odhiambo is expected to battle Mark Glowinski at left guard, so perhaps Pocic challenges free-agent addition Oday Aboushi on the right side.
That would set up this possible line configuration: Joeckel, Odhiambo, Britt, Pocic, Ifedi.
No matter what it looks like to start, though, we all know it won’t look like that once the season starts.
These guys are just too indecisive.