John Schneider has had plenty of chances to find the next Russell Wilson or Tyler Lockett with third-round home runs since 2016, but so far he has struck out.
Amara Darboh (cut this week) is officially a bust — again. And Nazair Jones is headed that way, too, perhaps saved only by a move to IR (barring an injury settlement).
Is C.J. Prosise (the anatomy of injury for the past three years) finally finished, too? Can Lano Hill avoid the ax? And can Rasheem Green step up and avoid the avalanche of third-round busts coming out of Seattle?
In the past four years, the Hawks have drafted a league-high nine players in the third round (counting Cody Barton this year). Just two of the eight non-rookies (Shaquill Griffin and Nick Vannett) have turned into regular contributors — a 25 percent success rate that is below the league average of 35-40 percent.
As we have said before, it is a big reason the Hawks failed to make the playoffs in 2017, when they had no ready replacements for the many stars who were injured that year.
Because of the failures of these third-rounders, the Hawks have put even more draft resources into those positions. Darboh’s dud basically led to the drafting of D.K. Metcalf in this year’s second round. Prosise’s injuries, plus Chris Carson’s health concerns, were the reasons the Hawks used a first-round pick on Rashaad Penny last year. Hill’s poor start led the Hawks to draft Marquise Blair in the second round this year (and Blair looks like he will be better than both Hill and Tedric Thompson).
Jones’ lack of development was offset by the rise of 2018 UDFA Poona Ford. Green will be the next to be replaced if he doesn’t make a big move this year – first-round pick L.J. Collier is now the favorite to claim Michael Bennett’s old spot.
It’s unfortunate Schneider basically wasted that seven-pick third-round jackpot in 2016 and 2017, with only Vannett and Griffin offering much.
In 2016, Rees Odhiambo was a major reach – and he was gone by last year. Prosise was a gamble that did not pay off. Vannett looked like a good pick – and he has been a solid player since getting a back problem taken care of.
Instead of Prosise and Odhiambo in 2016, Seattle could have had QBs Jacoby Brissett or Dak Prescott, C Graham Glasgow, LBs Joe Schobert or LB De’Vondre Campbell (a K.J. Wright clone) or RB Devontae Booker.
In 2017, the Hawks didn’t do much reaching or gambling in the third round, but Darboh and Jones just didn’t develop – and Hill (and fourth-rounder Thompson) are still trying to.
The Hawks could have drafted WR Kenny Golladay or WR Dede Westbrook instead of Darboh. And they could have had our preferred Eddie Jackson over Hill or Thompson (Jackson was an All-Pro for Chicago in 2018).
Wouldas, couldas, shouldas.
The Hawks just have to hope Griffin takes the next step, Vannett keeps contributing, the light goes on for Green and Barton builds on his early promise and remains a key figure going forward.
That would make Seattle 4 for 9 on recent third-rounders and put Schneider more in line with the rest of the league’s success rate in that round.