Thursday, 8 January 2009

Tim Ruskell talks draft

Eric Williams at the Tacoma News Tribune was present as Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell took questions from reporters today. Included in the discussion, talk of a possible draft plan for Seattle:

(from Williams) "On his strategy, he said all options are open for the No. 4 pick, but that he doesn't necessarily like drafting offensive lineman that early because he believes he can get a talented guy later in the draft and the success of an offensive line has more to do with the cohesion of the entire group. He pointed to guys like Ray Willis, Rob Sims and Mansfield Wrotto, all guys Seattle drafted in the fourth round.

Ruskell said he believes the team has above-average talent at offensive line and good depth after watching the backup perform admirably at the end of the season, further strengthened the idea the team might look elsewhere with the No. 4 pick.

He also said he doesn't want to get caught in the same predicament the team experienced this season with the rash of injuries the team experienced at receiver and not having enough depth at the position.

Is this is a possible red herring or serious hints as to the 'Hawks plans? Teams are often trying to second guess each other leading into the NFL draft, Seattle hosted quarter backs Chad Henne and Brian Brohm last year and hinted at the possibility of taking either. They never made any serious effort to take them.


Anonymous said...

I put absolutely no stock in what Ruskell is saying. There is absolutely no benefit to the Hawks of him completely tipping his hand in January. He might as well have said - we aren't taking Smith, Oher or Monroe because the other player we want is Crabtree.

Michael Steffes said...

Lots can change between now and then, but i believe him when he says he doesn't want to take a linemen that high. In both Tampa and Atlanta they were successful with lesser known linemen. It was the Bill Walsh disciples that felt the left tackle was so crucial.

They are looking to improve week spots on the team, and while not overly talented, the line does have some depth. Look at the Giants, they don't have one star linemen. Neither do the Pats. It is about coaching.

Sure will be interesting to see where they end up going though. Ruskell usually has a surprise or two up his sleeve, doesn't he.

twasuperstar said...

can someone remind Ruskell how terrible Sims is? i would prefer to see Willis at RT, with Locklear moving to RG. Willis earned the chance to compete for the starting RT position with his good play, and the poor play of Locklear. I do agree though that overall our O-line is in pretty good shape, assuming big Walt recovers from his knee surgery

Kurt said...

Looks like there was lots of good stuff at that press conference. The comments about Hill will likely rules out the possibility of us taking Curry.

I do think much of what Ruskell says about the draft at this point is a bit of gamesmanship on his part. He may think he can improve the Hawks' draft day by sending out some vibes like this early. No matter what he says, I think OT is just as much of a possibility as any other position.

Steven said...

Remember, just 11 months ago, before the previous draft, the News Tribune was reporting that "Ruskell said he anticipates taking an offensive tackle in the draft because this draft is so deep. It is not that strong at the interior line positions but the tackle spots are strong, and he said it is his philosophy that you should always draft at least one offensive lineman." Ruskell ended up drafting zero tackles and zero offensive lineman. I guess you can't trust what Ruskell says about his draft intentions.

Yung Hawk said...

Ruskell has drafted an O-lineman in the first round and also offered Dielman a big contract a couple years ago. I'm not sure how much stock you can put into what he says at this point.

Anonymous said...

i hate tim ruskell how can he say we dont need an early pick on an ot look at what big walter jones has done for us as an early ot pick ruskell might as well get rid of jones like he did hutchinson. ruskell is the future matt millen of drafting undersized lineman watch the seahawks fall apart the next 5 years because we'll draft another undersized defensive player (kelly jennings, daryl tapp, well lawrence jackson isnt undersized but he didnt show anything this year) fire tim numskull and hire mike holmgren back as general manager again might as well give him gm and hc

Battenrouge said...

Matt Millen drafted WR not OL!

twasuperstar said...

Ruskell's 1st Rnd picks with Hawks:
2005 - Chris Spencer (26th)
2006 - Kelly Jennings (31st)
2007 - none (traded for Branch)
2008 - Lawrence Jackson (28th)

It's hard to say that any of his 1st round picks with the Hawks have been successful, even if all of them are or were starters at some point, which is somewhat surprising considering each of those were late round picks and how well his 2nd and 3rd round picks have worked out.

Ruskell's 2nd Rnd picks with Hawks:
2005 - Lofa Tatupu (45th, traded up)
2006 - Darryl Tapp (63rd)
2007 - Josh Wilson (55th)
2008 - John Carlson (38th, traded up)

Each of these picks have been major contributors to the team since they were drafted. (Although Tapp has been a non-factor in many games and Wilson lacks the size to be an elite corner)

Ruskell's 3rd Rnd picks with Hawks:
2005 - David Greene (85th)
2005 - Leroy Hill (98th)
2006 - none
2007 - Brandon Mebane (85th)
2008 - none (traded for Carlson)

While Greene was a bust, it's hard to argue how valuable Hill and Mebane have been to the team.

Ruskell's 4th Rnd picks with Hawks:
2005 - Ray Willis (105th)
2006 - Rob Sims (128th)
2007 - Baraka Atkins (120th)
2007 - Mansfield Wrotto (124th)
2008 - Red Bryant (121st)

These picks certainly lend credence to Ruskell's recent comments of finding talent at the O-line position in the later rounds of the draft (note: Steve Vallos played well as an injury replacement this season and was taken by Ruskell in the 7th rnd, 2007). I am no fan of Sims', but I think both Willis and Wrotto are future starters on the line (here or another team) and Bryant had an injury plagued 2008 season so he gets a pass for now. Atkins was nearly cut in preseason and didn't contribute much this year.

What I take from Ruskell's drafts with the Hawks is that he's been successful at finding talent at nearly every round of the draft, and is an astute deal maker when a standout player is available, but our earliest picks just haven't panned out. Maybe we should let Mora take a stab at the first round this year!

Rob Staton said...

Thankyou twasuperstar for breaking that down for us in such detail. It was interesting to see the past drafts under Tim Ruskell's leadership. As you point out, the success in the 2nd round in particular is very impressive. 2009 presents an oppurtunity to draft a great prospect with the fourth overall pick and lets hope the front office have some success.