BY Doug Farrar 07:08PM 04/29/2011

Seahawks select John Moffitt in the third round

Seattle addresses glaring needs on the offensive line by selecting a star from Wisconsin.

With the 75th overall pick, traded from the Detroit Lions, the Seahawks selected Wisconsin guard John Moffitt. Playing on the right side of first-round tackle Gabe Carimi, Moffitt switched between guard and center throughout his career with the Badgers, proving his worth in one of the better-coached lines in the NCAA. He started 42 games for Wisconsin, including six games lining up as a freshman.

At the 2011 scouting combine, Moffitt talked about the assets he brought to the game, given the NFL-level environment that formed his development. “I think the thing that helps me, coming from Wisconsin, is we are a pro-style offense. I’m familiar with a lot of the concepts that are being thrown at me now. Just the game knowledge is something I can really carry over.

“Physically, I think it helps that we are a bigger built O-line and we’re asked to be bigger. We do play a north-south run game. Pass protection, I think I need to get more detailed and continue to work on that. But I think that pro-style offense from Wisconsin will transfer over to the NFL.

“I think I’m physically a strong player. I think because we were so heavy on the run, run blocking is my strength. My versatility is what really can separate me. I can play guard and center and think I can play both really well. Weakness-wise, I think I need to work on staying lower and keeping my hands a little tighter, not wrestling with guys as a result of my strength, because that’s not going to work at the next level.”

For Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, taking Moffitt and adding him to first-round pick James Carpenter just reinforced what the team has been saying since last season – it’s time to get tougher, especially on the lines. “Yeah, we really wanted to be tougher and more competitive. We found two guys that we liked, hoped to get those guys, and it turned out just right for us. It’s a statement that we need some work up front, and those guys are going to help us for sure.”

Assistant head coach Tom Cable, charged with re-establishing the culture of toughness that has been sapped from the franchise during the Tim Ruskell era, was clear in his purpose. It was less about banging the table” for the guys he wanted, and more about gaining a sense of alignment with Carroll and general manager John Schneider about the path the organization needed to take.

“We went after the opportunity to re-structure this offensive line,” Cable said. “We wanted to go up in size, and we’ve done that. We wanted to get some athletes with mass and power, and I think both guys bring an attitude we’re looking for.” Senior Analyst Rob Rang told Sportspress Northwest that Moffit is the kind of leader the Seahawks need on their offensive line, and that he’s not just a Boy Scout – this is a player who will live up to the concept of toughness on the field. And before you think that Moffitt was “protected” by the specter of Gabe Carimi at left tackle on the Wisconsin line, take a step back – according to Rang, it was just as much the other way around.

“When I saw him on tape during the Senior Bowl, and during Wisconsin’s games, I saw a guy who could physically move the defensive tackle,” Rang said. “My biggest concern is that when he gets to the second level, he isn’t as accurate as you’d like, because he isn’t a great athlete.

“In talking with scouts about him, however, it was viewed as counter to the way people perceive it. Moffitt actually helped Carimi out a bit more. For Carimi, as dominant as he was as an Outland Trophy winner, he wasn’t taken off the board until later (29th overall to the Chicago Bears) tells me that people believed he was helped just as much by that interior presence.”

Cable told the media that he would start the process for Moffitt at the right guard position, with perhaps a “nameless free agent” – which most people guess might be former Oakland Raiders lineman Robert Gallery – on the other side. To start the 2011 season (whenever it begins) Cable projected a line of, from right to left, Carpenter, Moffitt, center Max Unger, [insert free agent name here], and Russell Okung. And that lineup, as young and relatively experienced as it may be, puts forth the best and most graphic offensive line concept since Steve Hutchinson poison-pilled his way out of town.

And as tough as Moffitt may be, he’s also knows as a bit of a wiseacre – he had the Seattle media going, hook in mouth, with a fish story about the year he spent in the Peace Corps. Turned out not to be true, but it was an admirable effort in improve comedy.

“I’m kidding – I didn’t join the Peace Corps,” Moffitt said. “What happened is that I transferred high schools and repeated a year. I didn’t want to tell you I’m like ‘Billy Madison’. But the Peace Corps thing sounds so much better, so if you guys want to print that, feel free.”

As a comedian, John Moffitt will be here all week. Try the veal! As a guard, he’ll be here a lot longer than that. The re-toughening of the Seattle Seahawks continues, and they have seven picks in the third day of the draft to keep that going.


  • http://SportpressNorthwest Scott Jablon

    I certainly am not as concerned about who they have picked, as I am that they are having trouble moving down in the draft when the player they want is not that highly rated. There’s nothing wrong about driving a Ford, except when you’re paying Mercedes prices. Let’s hope the Seahawks fans are as satisfied after the draft, when they explained what deals they turned down to move back in the draft and still get the players they wanted.

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