Wednesday, 7 January 2009

How does Greg Knapp affect draft expectations?

It was revealed today that Greg Knapp will be the new Seahawks offensive coordinator, reuniting a working relationship he had with Jim Mora in Atlanta. How does this appointment, if at all, change expectations when it comes to April's draft?

It was widely speculated throughout the season that Knapp would rejoin Mora in Seattle, even though at the time he was working with the Oakland Raiders. A lot of mocks and predictions were made assuming Knapp would be on the staff, so essentially not much will change with today's announcement. However, Clare Farnsworth at the Seattle P.I. is reporting that one of Knapp's first tasks was to consult Matt Hasselbeck on the plan of action for 2009. This would suggest that Hasselbeck is still considered the starter in Seattle and that any questions about his health may have been answered. If that's the case, it makes it less likely the 'Hawks would take a quarter back in the first round.

Knapp has built his previous offenses based around a strong running game. In three years as the 49ers offensive coordinator the run game appeared in the league's top ten each time. With Knapp and Mora in Atlanta, the Falcons were ranked league leaders in the running game between 2004 and 2006. Danny O'Neil from the Seattle Times does a great job breaking down the numbers. Seattle's current running backs are Julius Jones, TJ Duckett and Maurice Morris. The latter will hit free agency this year and as a trio it was an uninspiring combination. In order to enhance the running game could the team search to improve areas of the offensive line or maybe even draft a new running back? Perhaps they will target a play making receiver who will demand attention to stop teams stacking the box like they regularly did in 2008?

1 comment:

Michael Steffes said...

Greg Knapp's passing games have always been centered around superstar receivers. He uses much fewer 3 and 4 receiver sets than a traditional WCO would. He needs his receivers to be big time playmakers. TO in San Fran, and then the Falcons spent several first round draft picks trying to find one in Roddy White and Michael Jenkins. Too bad he didn't have enough time to see it pay off.

In other words, I wouldn't change your mock anytime soon.