The Seahawks got heavily criticized for their selection of offensive tackle James Carpenter. Did they really? What are your feelings on him? Why not a quarterback?
I had the team selecting Andy Dalton at No. 25 overall in my final mock draft. Talking to personnel sources closer to the draft, it seemed that Dalton was going to be a strong consideration there or if they traded down into the second round. And general manager John Schneider told KIRO-AM in Seattle recently that Dalton was a strong consideration with that selection.
“We debated with Andy Dalton, there’s no question about it,” Schneider said. “But I think we all felt like we were at a point in our development where we couldn’t pass on a starting tackle right now.”
Schneider likes to take a slower approach in developing quarterbacks rather than having them play right away.
“Quite honestly, we’d like to have a guy, especially a rookie (quarterback), be more of a developmental type and a guy more like (Green Bay Packers quarterback) Aaron Rodgers and sit for a year or two. So that was really the only point in the draft where there was a guy where we were like, ‘There he is, that’s a very viable option.’ Quite honestly, we just had guys throughout the board that just didn’t make sense as we went down comparing them to other positions.”
As for Carpenter, while there were teams that had a second- or third-round grade on him, I would compare his situation to Duane Brown, who was selected in the first round of the 2008 draft by the Houston Texans.
The Texans were heavily criticized for the selection. In fact, some people thought he might be available as late as the third round. But the bottom line is player evaluation comes down to how you see a particular player fitting in within your scheme — not how others outside the organization see him. Brown was thought to be the bottom of the top tier of left tackles of that draft class, but he’s actually turned out to be a solid starter.
Carpenter will start right away, and while the lockout will cut down his learning process this season, you’ll get a pretty good idea of his talent early on. At quarterback, it takes at least three years to make a hard judgment on that position — not nearly as long for the evaluation of offensive tackles.