We've been following the 2011 NFL draft for quite some time so then last Thursday night came there weren't any surprising names coming out in the first round. One, though, was much less known than the others -- OT James Carpenter.
The Seattle Seahawks selected him with the 25th overall pick and, if you followed the draft on Twitter, then you know it was only seconds later before people started saying he was a reach. A lot of mock drafters had him rated as a second round tackle so we didn't think he'd becoming off the board in round one.
But Seahawks GM John Schneider told Sports Radio 950 KJR that Carpenter was their second highest rated tackle behind OT Nate Solder, who went 17th to the New England Patriots. The three other linemen selected ahead of Carpenter: OT Tyron Smith (ninth to the Dallas Cowboys), OT Anthony Castonzo (22nd to the Indianapolis Colts) and OT/G Danny Watkins (23rd to the Philadelphia Eagles).
This is a good example of a team sticking to their draft board and not listening to what others have said. If Carpenter ends up churning out a couple of Pro Bowls, folks will perk their ears next time the Seahawks go against the common thought. And if Carpenter busts, those same folks will be standing there saying, 'I told you so.'