Steve Hutchinson: Consulting Seahawks on OL pick?
Hutchinson met with one of the top centers in the draft this week: 4/14/2023
As much as I obsess over this team, consider me late to the party on knowing that Steve Hutchinson has been consulting the Seattle Seahawks on offensive line for a while. He may even help the Seahawks decide how to use one of their early draft picks and it seems that Seattle has their eyes on potentially the top center in the 2023 NFL Draft.
We know around here how questionable ProFootballNetwork’s Tony Pauline is when it comes to draft trade rumors, but if he’s going to report something as a fact that has happened at least that is verifiable or not. I’ll take Friday’s report as fact then.
Pauline reports that Huchinson had a meeting with Wisconsin junior Joe Tippman this week, a prospect who is the top-ranked center for some.
Hall of Famer Steve Hutchinson, now an offensive line consultant for the Seahawks, met with Tippmann earlier this week as Seattle debates which center grades higher, the Wisconsin junior or Schmitz.
Tippmann could be the Seahawks’ selection at 20, the same pick the Lions used to select Ragnow in 2018. Seattle will also look to trade down from 20 with the hopes Tippmann or Schmitz are available later. I’m told discussions are already taking place to move that selection.
We can take the meeting at face value and Pauline’s personal opinion on draft value at a another (a year ago, Pauline said that the Seahawks were interested in trading into the first round for quarterback Desmond Ridder, a player who ended up going to the Atlanta Falcons in the third), but he believes that some teams see Tippman as the next Frank Ragnow, arguably the top center in the NFL. That could mean that Seattle can’t wait until day two for Tippmann, though his current “big board consensus” is 60th overall.
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That consensus is not super meaningful—last year we saw the Patriots come from left field to take center Cole Strange in the first round, a player projected to go no earlier than the third round—I just wanted to share it because many of you probably haven’t heard of Tippmann and may be wondering if this is a normal projection for the Seahawks to be considering him with their second first round pick.
It’s not normal. That doesn’t mean it’s inaccurate, plenty of prospects will go earlier than expected and the 2023 draft class seems to be shaping up for a lot of surprises, I assume though that many of you would hope that Seattle trades back before taking Tippmann if that is indeed the case.
Joe Tippmann is a
strange odd case though. A 6’6, 313 lb center with 32.75” arms, Tippmann was a two-year starter at Wisconsin who has been compared to Packers center Josh Myers. What’s weird is how much his stock has risen in the last three months.
Go back to December and Tippmann was considered a seventh round/UDFA prospect. Then by January he was starting to hit the top-100. Then all of a sudden in February, he’s being talked about as a borderline first rounder. Now Pauline is saying the Seahawks are choosing between Tippmann and John Michael Schmitz with the 20th overall pick and that he could become an All-Pro center.
Daniel Jeremiah had Tippman in his top-30. ESPN didn’t have him in their top-200. However, we must consider that we’re talking about Joe Tippmann as a prospect weeks before the draft even happened and our perception of players changes quite a lot based on where they are picked and then how they play afterwards.
Lance Zierlein gives Tippman a grade of 6.35, which he says is “Will Eventually Be Plus Starter”. You know what he gave Ragnow in 2018? A 6.20, which is “Average Starter”. Ragnow was a player who people said was drafted too high.
You know which center had “terrible athleticism” and a third round grade?
Travis Frederick. The Dallas Cowboys picked Frederick with the 31st pick in 2013 and he went to the Pro Bowl every year from 2014 to 2017, and again in 2019, seeing his career end early due to Guillain-Barre syndrome.
The reason that Tippmann could be a “late riser” is that many centers are late risers because most draft analysts and predicters and “experts” don’t know how the hell to rate them until they’re told by the teams making them pick how good they actually are. Teams don’t tend to let those secrets out ahead of time because then they might have to pick the center earlier than they want to.
If this was just Tony Pauline blowing smoke again, that would be one thing. But he’s reporting a meeting between Steve Hutchinson and Joe Tippmann—that’s a meeting. That’s asking your former Hall of Fame guard, “Do you think this guy could be a Hall of Fame center?”
I may need to update my mock draft already.
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