Carroll, Schneider discuss reasoning behind draft selections
By Liz Mathews
Seahawks general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll sat down with the media Saturday evening for a post-draft wrap interview.
Seattle’s 2011 draft class is as follows: Offensive tackle James Carpenter, offensive guard John Moffitt, linebacker K.J. Wright, wide receiver Kris Durham, cornerback Richard Sherman, free safety Mark LeGree, cornerback Byron Maxwell, defensive lineman Lazarius Levingston, and linebacker Malcolm Smith.
“So, just finished up, 9 picks,” said Schneider. “We’re real excited with the group and ready to get rolling. I want to thank everybody that was involved, the whole coaching staff, everybody it was a fantastic effort. We had an emphasis on working to get bigger up front and get more athletic and add depth to our team and we feel like we were able to do that throughout this draft. We did some exciting things and had some guys come to us and found some cool little niches for some guys.
“So, yeah, it was a fun day today. Today was actually the most fun.”
“I felt really good about [what] happened there,” said Carroll. “We started out with the intention in the first couple of days, and got something knocked out upfront, that was clear. We picked guys that we really liked, and we were fortunate that it happened for us. To come back and today and get all of the athletic things that we wanted to get done and upgrade our speed and upgrade the kind of athleticism that we bring to our team and the style of athletes that we brought.”
With nine picks available, the Seahawks were able to address a number of team needs in the draft, with the offensive line and the defensive backfield accounting for five of Seattle’s selections.
There was much talk before the draft that the defensive line was also a major target in this year’s draft, though the team came away with only a single lineman, Lazarius Levingston – a possibility at end or tackle.
“We’re not going to be one of those teams that panics and goes off the chart to grab somebody, and we had a gap there in the defensive line,” said Schneider. “We had offensive linemen that were together, and there were defensive linemen that were together, and they both started coming off at the same time when we took our first two guys. It just happened that there was a gap in between there. In our opinion, it was a fairly significant gap.”
Carroll further explained: “There’s a lot of defensive linemen that were picked in this draft, and a bunch of them went prior to us picking in our first pick, and we came back around again and there were another bunch of guys that were picked. There were a lot of guys that were already gone off the board, so, like John said, there was a space where we waited for the opportunity to fit and the preparation and it fit right in place.”
Is there now an urgency to re-sign Brandon Mebane with the resumption of free agency?
“We would like to have Brandon back, anyway,” said Schneider. “It probably does to a certain extent, I would be lying if I told you any different. But again, we’re not a team that’s going to panic. We’re going to plod through it and see what we can accomplish.”