The NFL Draft approaches and teams are preparing to add that “missing piece” that will lead to a playoff appearance and potential trip to Super Bowl LVI. Prior to the three-day event, NFL Media’s Gregg Rosenthal ranked NFL general managers according to recent picks. Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll appeared on the list as a pair, fittingly landing in the 12-spot.
“I included Carroll here because he helped hire Schneider and has final authority in personnel decisions,” Rosenthal wrote on NFL.com. “The Seahawks are always good for a few surprises on draft day, but they’ve had their share of hits since 2015: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Frank Clark, Jarran Reed and Shaquill Griffin among them.
“Critics have blamed the ‘Hawks for not prioritizing the offensive line, but it’s more accurate to say they’ve just chosen and coached the position poorly,” Rosenthal added. “There are few too many early picks that haven’t contributed much, including Marquise Blair, L.J. Collier, Rashaad Penny, Malik McDowell and Amara Darboh.”
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Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf form one of the NFL’s best tandems
Early in the 2021 season, fans of the Seahawks called for the team to “let Russ cook.” Quarterback Russell Wilson had several weapons at his disposal, and he used them to put up five games with more than 300 yards. He also threw 28 touchdowns in the first eight games.
D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett benefited the most from the short-lived “let Russ cook” era. The dynamic duo both topped 1,000 receiving yards in 2020 and each caught 10 touchdown passes. Lockett posted a 200-yard game against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 7 while Metcalf reached 177 yards in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The passing game sputtered near the end of the regular season, especially as the rushing attack became more of a focus. Wilson went from flirting with 300 yards each game to only reaching 121 yards against the Washington Football Team. The Seahawks still reached the playoffs but lost to the Los Angeles Rams during the first round.
Despite suffering a loss in the playoffs, both Metcalf and Lockett proved that they were two of the best draft picks in recent memory. The Seahawks then took steps after the season to ensure that the duo would remain together, signing Lockett to a four-year, $69.2 million extension.
Questions still remain about Rashaad Penny’s future in the NFL
A first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Penny has yet to play a full season for the Seattle Seahawks. He appeared in 14 games as a rookie, rushing for 419 yards and two touchdowns. Penny entered the 2019 season and rushed for another 370 yards and three touchdowns, but he tore his ACL in Week 14. This injury ended his season and kept him out of the lineup for the first 13 games in 2020.
Despite injury concerns, Penny’s backfield mate has made a bold proclamation. Running back Chris Carson met with the media on Thursday and said that he and Penny could form one of the NFL’s best rushing duos. Carson acknowledged the health concerns but explained how he and Penny complement each other. Carson continued and said that his backfield mate could be “special” and that his limit “is ridiculous.”
While Carson holds his teammate in high regard, Rosenthal’s column confirms that there are still questions about Penny and whether he is a “bust.” 2021 will be a critical season for the former San Diego State star, both in terms of his reputation and his roster status with the team.
Schneider and Carroll, on the other hand, will have to continue drafting well with limited opportunities. The NFL Draft takes place from Apr. 29 to May 1, 2021, in Cleveland. The Seahawks only hold three picks as the weekend approaches, meaning that the duo will either have to hit on every single selection or make some trade and accumulate capital.
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