By Jared Stanger
It’s not the player…it’s the price.
Thursday evening, after a nine-pick trade back with Green Bay; the Seattle Seahawks selected San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Man.
I get most of what this is and what it’s about. I had been projecting Seattle to take a 220lb RB for months now.
I figured they’d want someone to replace CJ Prosise…which basically meant “more durable”.
And as late in the process as early this week, after Pete and John gave their pre-draft presser, I had sort of realized the personality type of RB they might target. Got it down to three guys.
I WANTED Seattle to be that kind of selective…parsing the RB group down to three. I even wrote that I’d want them to get their guy a round early if they had to. But in the case of these running backs, I thought we’d be talking about 3rd round players that you draft in the 2nd.
The big thing I did not account for was the combined effect of having limited draftpick inventory, combined with Seattle’s self-admitted smaller big board, combined with Seattle wanting to NOT make the mistake they made in 2017 when they traded back three times from their first pick and I think it cost them the player they really wanted and led to the whole Lemony Maliket series of unfortunate events.
So then I think these became a lot of Seattle’s thought processes: a big back that breaks a lot of tackles, but stays durable, with explosivity, to reinvigorate the run game, who also has a certain personality. And they wanted to do all of this without repeating mistakes of overtrading and missing him. It was an impossibly narrow target to hit.
John told reporters after the first round that they had offers for the 27th pick and that a team called to try to acquire Rashaad by trade…I mean, those are very convenient stories to have ready when most of the fanbase and draft media are like, “REALLY?? So soon???” Maybe we’ll never know if Penny would have still been available six picks later, twelve picks later, a full round later. Maybe years from now in a ’30 for 30′ special the GM from that mystery team will step forward and confirm he offered a trade for Penny.
Maybe John made the pick at exactly the right time, exactly the right price. But it feels like they overpaid. It feels like we got running back value at dollars on the Penny.
Those are my thoughts on it. Keep the change.