ESPN’s Dilfer rips Seahawks’ draft picks

TV analyst, former Seahawk and friend of Matt Hasselbeck also rips team for not drafting QB Andy Dalton instead of Carpenter

The Seahawks “absolutely whiffed” on the entire draft, in the opinion of former Seahawks quarterback Trent Dilfer.

On an ESPN panel show Saturday afternoon discussing winners and losers in the NFL’s annual selection party, Dilfer, who played four years in Seattle, criticized nearly every pick as as an “overdraft.”

“It hurts me to say this, because I love Seattle and want them to succeed,” he said. “But there were better players available at almost every choice they made.”

Draft guru Mel Kiper thought more highly of the Seattle selections, especially first-rounder James Carpenter and third-rounder John Moffitt, but generally agreed with Dilfer’s criticism, although not as harshly.

“They reached,” said Kiper, “no doubt. I agree that this draft didn’t help this team.”

“If you want to play the tortoise game, that’s OK,” Dilfer said. “But they did little while their division rivals, Arizona and San Francisco, got exponentially better.”

Dilfer, who played 22 games for the Seahawks between 2001-2004 and was 8-4 in his starts, was also critical of the Seahawks’ failure to re-sign quarterback Matt Hasselbeck before the lockout.

Hasselbeck, now a free agent at 35, and Dilfer are close friends, so Dilfer’s remarks can be seen as something of an infomercial for his pal. The Seahawks and Hasselbeck both said publicly before the lockout they wanted his return, but coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider were OK with letting him go into free agency.

After saying it will be “very, very difficult” to re-sign Hasselbeck, Dilfer criticized the Seahawks for not drafting a potential replacement, TCU quarterback Andy Dalton, with the 25th pick in the first round. They used it on Carpenter, a 320-pound right tackle from Alabama, who was not on the first-round radar of most experts. Even Carpenter admitted he was surprised to be taken so early.

Dalton was taken in the second round with the 35th pick by Cincinnati, after four quarterbacks were taken in the first 12 picks.

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King speculated that Hasselbeck’s likeliest destination is Arizona, which did not draft a quarterback despite an obvious need. In order, King listed Hasselbeck’s potential destinations as Arizona, Tennessee, Minnesota, San Francisco and Miami.

Tennessee drafted Washington quarterback Jake Locker with the eighth pick in the first round, and finished the season with 38-year-old Kerry Collins at QB.

In a post-draft press conference, head coach Pete Carroll, without referencing Dilfer, said he liked the Seahawks draft, and “we don’t care what anybody says.”