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Friday Round-Up: ESPN NFL Insiders grade Seahawks in free agency

A daily link round-up of what's "out there" about your Seattle Seahawks


Good morning, 12s.

Here's a look at what's "out there" for today - Friday, March 27 - about your Seattle Seahawks:

Making The Grade

ESPN NFL Insiders Mike Sando, Bill Polian, Louis Riddick, Matt Williamson, and Field Yates put together team-by-team report cards for the free-agent signing period that opened two weeks ago. The group took into account each team's key re-signings and acquisitions, as well as key departures, and shared opinions on the more notable moves each club has made so far.

The Seahawks earned an 'A-minus' for their work on the open market. The link above is an Insider feature, but the snippet below from Sando is what was said about Seattle.

"The Seahawks have an opportunistic GM in John Schneider. Their coach, Pete Carroll, covets players with unique physical traits. Carroll also welcomes working with young players and embraces a range of personalities. That explains why the Seahawks jumped at the chance to acquire players such as Harvin two years ago and Graham this offseason.

'They give up Unger and what amounts to a second-round player for Graham, who is a difference-maker in their offense,' Polian said. 'I have no problem with that.'


First-round picks carry great value because they allow teams to control young players at relatively low cost for as long as six years. That is why trading away first-round picks can be inadvisable.*

'That is true,' Williamson said, 'but no team in the league has as many players who are near the best at their positions, and now they added another one in Graham. Of their 22 starters, there could be 7-8 guys who are top five at their position and that might not even include Russell Wilson, who can be a nightmare to play against.'

Seattle managed to extend contracts for Marshawn Lynch, Cliff Avril and others before free agency. The team enters the draft with question marks along the offensive line. Williamson said those question marks 'scare' him even though Wilson and Lynch can compensate for a weak line.

'They have so many young, core players on long-term deals already,' Yates said. 'I am not sure there is another team that has a better roster, top to bottom. They do not have a first-round pick, but who has drafted better than Seattle with later picks? No one.'"

In a related Insider feature*, *Williamson ranks the top 10 players who were signed or acquired via trade this offseason that he expects to have the most immediate impact on their new teams.

The Seahawks acquired Pro Bowl/All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham in a trade with the New Orleans Saints.

Seattle tight end Jimmy Graham comes in at No. 3 on Williamson's list and the piece the Seahawks traded to the Saints - center Max Unger - comes in at No. 5. **

On Graham's 2015 outlook in Seattle, Williamson writes, "Graham is a great football player and a truly elite touchdown producer. His number of targets should decrease in Seattle, but his effectiveness might actually increase. Russell Wilson is a superb deep-seam-route passer, and Graham is as effective on this route as any tight end in recent memory. Wilson also trusts big targets (as we saw in the Super Bowl) and will put the ball almost "up for grabs" when his target has one-on-one coverage. Graham is amazing in these situations.

But what is most intriguing about this new marriage is the Seahawks' new lineup when they are in base personnel with two wide receivers on the field. Does the opposing defense play its base defense against that grouping and give Graham a favorable matchup, or does it play nickel and put lighter personnel on the field against the supreme running threat of Marshawn Lynch and Wilson? There isn't really a right answer to that question."

An Eye For Talent

Seahawks Executive VP/General Manager John Schneider comes in at No. 3 on this list of NFL decision-makers that have the best record of drafting Pro Bowlers.

Seven players, or 14.58 percent of Schneider's draftees, have made the Pro Bowl - left tackle Russell Okung, free safety Earl Thomas, cornerback Richard Sherman, strong safety Kam Chancellor, linebacker Bobby Wagner, quarterback Russell Wilson, and former Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate, who was named to the Pro Bowl last year as a member of the Detroit Lions.

The two executives ahead of Schneider? That would be New Orleans Saints GM Mickey Loomis (14.6 percent of draftees) and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (14.72 percent of draftees).

Jon Ryan Joins 'Straight Talk' With Ross Matthews

Seattle punter Jon Ryan and his fiancee, comedian Sarah Colonna, recently joined the *Straight Talk *podcast with T.V. personality Ross Matthews, a Washington-state native who's a big Seahawks fan.

Ryan and Colonna's segment gets going around the 21-minute mark of the audio file linked above. The pair talks about the outcome of Super Bowl XLIX, what it was like for Ryan to throw for a touchdown in the NFC Championship game, how the two met via Twitter with the help of Matthews, and more.

Instagram(s) Of The Day

I still got it at 260lbs

A post shared by Cliff Avril (@cliffavril) on

We're subbing our usual "Tweet of the Day" with a couple "Instagram(s) of the Day" from 5-foot-11, 217-pound Seahawks quarterback B.J. Daniels and 6-foot-3, 260-pound Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril, each of whom share video of themselves throwing down pretty impressive dunks.

More From Around The Web

Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is set to appear in a music video with Atlanta-area rapper Ludacris, who cited Lynch as the inspiration for a new track titled* Beast Mode. *

It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to Clare Farnsworth, as he enters retirement.

Bob Condotta at the Seattle Times has five Seahawks-themed takeaways from his time at the NFL Annual Meeting.

Jayson Jenks at the Seattle Times says a healthy Cassius Marsh could add needed depth to the Seahawks' defensive line.

Even though the Seahawks are currently without a first-round pick in this year's draft, Bucky Brooks at sees Seattle as a potential fit for Georgia running back Todd Gurley, who many consider to be the top NFL prospect at his position.

And for the third consecutive year, the NFC West came out on top in's divisional power rankings.

D*id I miss anything you think is worthy of inclusion? Let me know on Twitter *

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