Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Trading down for a playmaker?

On Sunday, Steve Wyche (Senior Writer from suggested the Seahawks were looking for an offensive playmaker in the first round of the draft. In a live Q&A today, he mentioned it again and touted the possibility of Seattle trading down.

"I have been told they want another playmaker and that could mean they want somebody to stretch the field, like Crabtree. T.J. is more of an intermediate route receiver. Chad J-O-C was the deep ball threat. I think the Hawks are in a great spot to trade back in the first round, pick up a mid-round pick in the process and, and nab a playmaker with the latter first-round pick." - Steve Wyche

Different cases can be made as to what Seattle's biggest need actually is heading into the draft. Some argue it's a long term replacement to ageing veterans Matt Hasselbeck and Walter Jones. Others believe the team needs to add another dominant defensive prospect such as Aaron Curry. You could also argue that perhaps more than anything the Seahawks need a young offensive playmaker.

To read the full article, click here.

Ranked 28th in yards per game, 25th in total points scored and 28th in yards per play in 2008, the Seahawks' offense was decimated by injuries and poor production. On average, Seattle averaged over seven minutes less than their oponents in terms of time-of-possession. The response in free agency was to make a big splash on T.J. Houshmandzadeh. With Bobby Engram moving on to Kansas City, his presence on the roster will certainly be felt.

But is there room for another talented playmaker? Most definitely.

As Wyche reports Michael Crabtree could be an option with that fourth overall pick. With Nate Burleson coming off a serious knee injury and Deion Branch proving unreliable with his health - Tim Ruskell won't want to go into next season relying solely on Houshmandzadeh and tight end John Carlson. Having said that, the team are still sitting on Burleson and Branch's large contracts and might feel another hefty cap hit might be a stretch too far. Reports have also surfaced recently about Crabtree's character although nothing has been made public.

If the team did decide to look in a different direction, what are the chances of trading down in order to find that playmaker? Probably pretty slim, as Mike Sando reports:

"Three teams have traded into the top 10 picks since 2003. No team since 2003 has traded into the top five picks from lower in the round." - Mike Sando

Clearly it would take something extraordinary for Seattle to move down. Teams don't usually like to give away picks unless there's an elite talent to be had. Even then, if that was the case surely Seattle would be better served taking the 'elite' prospect? For argument's sake let's play fantasy football for a moment. Say a team did trade up into the top five allowing Seattle to slip down a few spots, who might they target?

Step forward Knowshon Moreno.

Not only a superb playmaker, he has the vibrant personality and humble character that Tim Ruskell looks for. Running backs tend to offer that instant gratification, there isn't the great learning curve you get with other positions. The team might be higher on Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett than some of the fans, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't explore the possibility of adding another back to the roster.

In a zone blocking scheme Moreno could thrive. He has great vision and cutback ability. Although he hasn't got that elite breakaway speed, he's fast enough. Always finishes his runs and has plenty of value as a catcher out of the backfield - Moreno could be the most under rated prospect carrying a first round grade.

If I had to but a wager on who the Seahawks would target if they did 'somehow' find a partner to trade down, my money would be on Moreno. If Steve Wyche's sources are correct and Seattle are looking for an offensive playmaker, the former Bulldog fits the bill.

Anyone want to trade?


Anonymous said...

Sounds great. I'd like the idea of trading down with Philly who has 2 picks in the 1st (21 and 28) and needs a starting caliber left tackle. We could give #4 and take #21 this year, along with their 2nd rounder (#53) and a first round pick next year. Banking a high pick for next year will help in the quest for a future franchise QB.

Rob Staton said...

I'd be surprised if the team chose to trade down that far, it's quite a dramatic drop. I still think a trade down is unlikely, but if it did occur I think the team would like to remain in the top 15. Philadelphia have needs, but they were one drive away from the Super Bowl last year and will likely want to keep their picks.

Chris (Seattle) said...

Hey Rob. Ya, I'd have to say trading down seems very unlikely. Not only because of Sando's info about how rare it is for a team to trade into the top 5, but also given that there are no "elite" prospects that every team wishes they had a chance to draft (with the exception of maybe Curry or Crabtree, but at least one will be gone when we pick). I think we are stuck picking here. Just for fun, say a team picking around 8 or so wanted to jump up (maybe Raiders at 7 for Crabtree), and we picked 7th, I'd love to see someone like Maclin come to Seattle. He has game-changing ability as a deep threat and a punt returner. Since that probably won't happen, I'm going to keep holding out hope we get a chance to draft Crabtree, and take it.

Rob Staton said...

Hi Chris, as you say the trade down scenario I touted here is pretty unlikely. It's not just the picks involved it takes to move up, but also the financial hit you take picking in the top five. I don't think it's a coincidence teams like Tampa Bay have all that cap room yet actually cut a load of veterans this off season. The financial climate is unstable all around the world, even in the NFL.

It's also hard to see why a team would single out Seattle. If Stafford falls, I would be surprised if Cleveland considered that pick at least whilst they have both Quinn and Anderson still on the roster. Likewise with a tackle - they have Joe Thomas - why would you choose Seattle and not the Browns for a trade?

The only situation I can envisage would be if Aaron Curry dropped, and a team wanted to get ahead of Cleveland. That might work. Maybe.

With regard to Jeremy Maclin, I am not as high on him for Seattle. I think he has big upside and obviously looks extremely fast on tape. However, with Matt Hasselbeck you aren't going to make the most of Maclin's deep threat. He's also a little raw and although would offer value in the return game, I expect a Ted Ginn Jr. type transition into the NFL.

The team will be almost perfectly placed to draft the best 'playmaker' in the draft (Michael Crabtree). If they truly intend to go in that direction, then any trade talk may become redundant anyway.

Louis said...

Hey Rob,

After all the rumors that have been circulating around, I am more confident than ever that we will draft Michael Crabtree. Other than trading down, there is no other player that i think makes sense:

1) OT Eugene Monroe = I do not think we will draft an OT here. Ruskell does not like drafting OT so high, and our FA signings so far show that we are in a Win Now mind set. As many have said, Monroe would probably sit behind Walter Jones, and that will not help our team this upcoming year.

2) Aaron Curry = A main reason why we trade Julian Peterson was so that we would not be paying too much money to the LB position. Removing Peterson's 6.9 Mil and replacing it with 10 Mil in Curry makes absolutely no sense. Paying Lofa, Hill, AND Curry big money will not help our team that much, as our team has shown that 3 great LBs do not gaurentee that your defense is good. My point is,it doesnt make sense to go trade away Peterson because of financial reasons and then to go back and sign another big money LB.

3) Matthew Stafford - First of all, I do not think that Stafford will be available at #4, as Detriot will probably pick him, but if Detriot instead goes with an OT like jason smith, then Stafford will most likely be available for us at #4. However, as i said earlier, we are in the Win Now mind set, and having $10 a year sitting on the bench does not help us in the near future. In addition, Hasselbeck will start questioning his role on the team, as drafting his successor will not help him.

4) BJ Raji - Character Issues and the signings of Colin Cole and Cory Redding. Enough said.

So as you see, Michael Crabtree makes PERFECT sense. DRAFT MICHAEL CRABTREE!!!

Louis said...

Wow that was a long post, lol =D

Chris (Seattle) said...

Ya, i agree about Maclin (I like Harvin too). Only thing I'd maybe argue with about Hasselbeck's arm strength is it's highly likely he only has a couple years left in Seattle with how the league is, and his bad back. Of course, our next QB would have to have a big arm. Though, even with Hasselbeck's less than stellar deep ball, I think it still helps to have a home run guy that stretches the defense and forces them to gameplan for.

Anonymous said...

Louis - I agree with your comments...u have just convinced to that Michael Crabtree is the most likely pick here for us at #4.

seahawkpeenz said...

Hey Rob, what are the chances of us putting together a package to get back into the first with our second rounder and another pick or two. To get any combination of crabtree, moreno, stafford, etc in the first would be a successful draft in my eyes and many other i'm sure. What did Cleveland have to do in order to get into the first again and get Brad Quinn.

Rob Staton said...

Hey Seahawkpeenz,

Cleveland traded their first round pick in 2008 and the 36th overall pick in 2007 to move up and get Quinn. They took him 22nd overall. I'm not sure Seattle would give up a first rounder in 2010 to get back into the first, especially with the cap room getting tighter after an active free agency. They might be able to move up 3-4 spots if they really wanted a certain prospect. I wouldn't rule anything out, but they should find good value at the top of the second and third round, they might want to keep their picks.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the point value chart that these teams use, you see that the Seahawks 2nd(37 - 530 points) and 3rd(68 - 250 points) in a trade would allow them to move up to the 22nd overall (780 points). I think that with his slow 40 times, the rise of Donald Brown, and teams seeming to fall back in love with Wells, Moreno could very well be there at 22.