NFL Draft: Seahawks add more size up front

NFL DRAFT: Seattle selects John Moffitt of Wisconsin, pencils in 319-pounder at right guard, next to top pick James Carpenter

April 30, 2011 

RENTON - The Seattle Seahawks continued to make new offensive line coach Tom Cable a happy man on the second day of the 2011 NFL draft, using the No. 75 overall selection (third round) to select another piece of the rebuilding project up front: Wisconsin offensive guard John Moffitt.

General manager John Schneider traded down from the team’s pick in the second round, No. 57 overall, getting an extra selection in the fourth round and setting the table for a productive final day. The draft finishes with rounds four through seven today, beginning at 9 a.m. today.

The addition of Moffitt comes one day after the team selected its right tackle of the future in Alabama’s James Carpenter with the No. 25 pick.

Cable said he told Schneider before that draft that his dream scenario included landing these two offensive line prospects.

“I’m extremely pleased,” Cable said. “As you can tell, we went after the opportunity to try and restructure this offensive line a little bit. We wanted to go up in size, and we’ve done that.

“We want to get some more athletes with some mass and power, and I think both guys bring an attitude that kind of fits what we’re looking for. They’re extremely competitive guys and guys who were both leaders on their teams, in particular John Moffitt. ”

At 6-foot-4, 319 pounds, Moffitt, a Guilford, Conn. native, provides another physical presence to help jump-start Seattle’s anemic run game. Moffitt was a team captain at Wisconsin, where he started 42 of 45 games – including 22 at left guard and 15 at center.

“I’m a physical player,” he said. “I think I bring a lot of physicality to the line, and I’m an intelligent player as well. It’s important for me to know what I’m doing out there and to understand the game and develop mentally as well as physically.”

When asked about being a 24-year-old college senior, he had a witty explanation.

“You know I joined the Peace Corps for a year, so I lost year,” Moffitt said.

When was that?

“No, I’m kidding. I didn’t join the Peace Corps,” Moffitt said, laughing. “You know what happened, I transferred high schools and I repeated a year of school. I didn’t want to tell you I’m like Billy Madison. But the Peace Corps things sound so much better, so if you guys want to print that, feel free.”

Asked how Moffitt fits in Seattle’s scheme, Schneider cut to the chase: “The guy’s just an ass-kicker.”

Cable said that Moffitt will start at right guard, and if offseason workouts were to start today, the line would be Russell Okung at left tackle, an open spot at left guard, Max Unger at center, Moffitt at right guard and Carpenter at right tackle.

Cable said he wants to get back to the offensive line being a strength, similar to the days of Walter Jones, Steve Hutchinson and Robbie Tobeck, when Seattle regularly made the playoffs.

“As we all know, if you look back just a few years ago they had a tremendous offensive line,” Cable said. “And it was a real strength or backbone of this football team and I think the reason they went to all of those playoff games and ultimately a Super Bowl.

“I think if you’re going to be that kind of team, you’ve got to get back to that.”

The Seahawks originally were slated to pick at No. 57 overall, but they traded with Detroit, giving up that second-round pick, a fifth-rounder (157th overall) and a seventh-rounder (209th) in exchange for a third-round pick (75th), a fourth-rounder (107th), a fifth-rounder (154th) and a seventh-rounder (205th).

Put simply, Seattle traded a second-round pick for Detroit’s third- and fourth-round picks, and swapped spots to move up in the fifth and seventh rounds.

So the Seahawks now have seven picks in the final four rounds, including the second and 10th picks of today’s fourth round.

“We take a lot of pride, and we spend a lot of time working on the fifth round through the free agents,” Schneider said. “That’s really where the core of your team can come from. It’s pretty exciting to talk about the first-rounders – there’s so much emphasis on that, and that’s great, and they are very important picks. But the teams that are most successful consistently in this league do a great job in the bottom half of drafts.”

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks

The John Moffitt file

Position: Guard

College: Wisconsin

Height/weight: 6-foot-4, 319 pounds

The skinny: A potential starting right guard who can also serve as a backup at center … A first-team All-America choice and Lombardi Award candidate, he was credited with 66 knockdown blocks and was part of an offensive line that gave up only 14 sacks last season. … Ran a 5.55 in the 40-yard dash and had a 301/2-inch vertical jump, 445-pound bench press and 580-pound squat.

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