NFC West: Lambeau Leap

Mailbag: Second-guessing personnel moves

September, 11, 2008
9/11/08
10:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Eli from Seattle writes: I'd hate to say it, but the topic at hand has been Seattle's WR situation & blame is pointing it's finger at [Seahawks president] Tim Ruskell for not being more aggressive in Free Agency as well as in the draft. No WR's went in the first round, so he basically had his pick of any of the top recievers coming out of college late in the first, but of course, did nothing. He seems to be too reserved w/his moves & doesn't take chances as well as having way too much faith in late round picks.

All of the Elite/Top QB's in the league have at least one star WR, yet Hasselbeck has never had any unless it was late in their career (Jerry Rice). Ruskell's motto is to build through the draft but our Pro Bowl QB is not getting any younger. Why doesn't he make some trades (like NE last year [Moss] or CLE this year [Picks 1, 2, 3]) to pick up some proven players rather than take chances? These 5th, 6th, & 7th round pick receivers have talent but not enough to contend with playoff caliber teams in both divisions. Is this not obvious enough?

Mike Sando: You could also criticize Ruskell for being too aggressive in acquiring Deion Branch from New England for a first-round draft choice. That was an aggressive move for a receiver. Branch is injured.

Letting D.J. Hackett go was a calculated risk. That risk did not pay off.

Trading up in the draft to select Lofa Tatupu was an aggressive move that drew criticism but paid off.

Paying lots of up-front money for Patrick Kerney, then 30-ish and coming off injury, was a big gamble that paid off with a 14-sack season.

Giving up a third-round pick for Nate Burleson was a risky move that didn't pay off early, then paid off last season, then didn't look as good when Burleson got hurt this season.

The receiver position was fine before injuries wiped out Bobby Engram, Branch, Burleson and even Ben Obomanu. The later-round picks you alluded to were never expected to start. They were expected to be the fourth, fifth and sixth receivers on the roster. We should not forget this when analyzing the Seahawks' moves at receiver.

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