Seahawks’ John Schneider is a mediocre General Manager riding on the coattails of two Hall of Fame draft classes nearly a decade ago, and Head Coach Pete Carroll still thinks he has his 2014 roster. In a league that is seemingly always saying “what have you done for me lately,” why don’t Schneider and Carroll face the same scrutiny?
Ten years ago, in the 2010 NFL Draft, Schneider took safety Earl Thomas in the first round and safety Kam Chancellor in the fifth round.
Nine years ago, in the 2011 NFL Draft, Schneider took linebacker K.J. Wright in the fourth round, and cornerback Richard Sherman in the fifth.
Eight years ago, in the 2012 NFL Draft, Schneider took defensive end Bruce Irvin in the first, future Hall of Fame linebacker Bobby Wagner in the second, and franchise cornerstone quarterback Russell Wilson in the third.
Those three draft classes laid the foundation for what should have been a dynasty. They won Super Bowl XLVIII with the historically great “Legion of Boom” defense that Schneider built over three years, obliterating Peyton Manning and the Broncos 43-8. The following year, the Seahawks returned to the Super Bowl and lost to the Patriots on a goal-line interception instead of just giving the damn ball to Marshawn Lynch.
They were never the same after that interception. While Russell Wilson has proven to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, a once well-rounded roster has continually become more and more top-heavy, with the general philosophy implemented by Schneider proving time-and-time again to be predicated on luck late in the draft. That is not a recipe for success.
At some point, Schneider needs to be held accountable for assembling a roster that requires the quarterback to be a world-beater in order to win. Look no further than his track record in the first round of drafts since 2013.
2013: Traded out
2014: Traded out
2015: Traded out
2016: Offensive lineman Germaine Ifedi (no longer with team)
2017: No pick
2018: Running Back Rashaad Penny (not starting)
2019: Defensive End L.J. Collier (not starting)
2020: Linebacker Jordyn Brooks
My response to that draft pick, when LSU Linebacker Patrick Queen went to the Baltimore Ravens with the very next pick:
Yes, he’s hit on some picks as well. D.K. Metcalf is a second-year wide receiver that’s emerging as a star in the league, and Schneider got him with the last pick in the second round.
I know that the first round does not a draft-class make, but when you have an opportunity at a blue-chip prospect, at some point, you need to hit on those picks.
Roster construction isn’t everything. Team philosophy is also a giant question mark. This team knew exactly who they were in 2013 — elite defense, a smart quarterback that protected the ball, and the best run game in the NFL. Eventually, you have to look at the roster in front of you and cater the way you play the game to that roster. Carroll has never been willing to do the latter, in a stubborn, obstinate display of an unwillingness to adapt.
Now with an elite quarterback and an ascending star at wide receiver, what did Carroll say immediately following their playoff exit?
Of course. Let’s still force the old philosophy on a roster that is not designed to exceed within it. Brilliant. You only paid Wilson an exorbitant amount of money, tying him to the team for the next three seasons. If that’s where you plan on putting your money, locking in Wilson to what is now the second-highest annual salary in the NFL, you should make that the focal point of the offense.
In yesterday’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the Seahawks showed once again that their offensive line is a joke, that their philosophy doesn’t match their roster, and that Pete Carroll and John Schneider either don’t care or don’t know how to fix it.