John's Mock -- And in the fourth round...

Football isn't baseball. And if you've played football at any competitive level, you know that beat-up, I-don't-think-I'm-gonna-move-bed-today feeling one gets waking up after a particularly punishing game. That's why when I read about a player hard scrabbling his way up draft boards, doing everything and everything extra to improve his stock, just so he can play in the NFL, I'm not just impressed, I don't just feel affinity, I feel respect and jump their draft stock.

Now, the money given a third round pick like Jeremy Zuttah is significantly more than that given a fifth round pick like Roy Schuening. Zuttah is under contract for about twice as much as Schuening, and perhaps most significantly, Zuttah's signing bonus is about six times as much as Schuening's. So maybe all the hustle is about cashing in, but I just don't believe that about Tyronne Green. He smiled through his 40 for Malk's sakes!

Green is an athletic, attacking former defensive tackle that's a bit inexperienced at guard, but has great potential. That sentence has become so pat a Tim Ruskell algorithm could assemble it. But if you've found something that works, and you're on the eve of fully implementing it, then you've got to go go go. Were this a year back and my last memory of Mansfield Wrotto a preseason of hitches and glitches, I'd never advocate picking Green. Wrotto made some amazing strides and was a competent starter in just his second season. Occasional cluelessness aside, Wrotto was a big, mobile mauler that flashed elite run blocking talent, and if not the skills to be a great pass blocker, at least the potential to be good. He wasn't overmatched. He wasn't bulled into the backfield. He showed some ability to latch on when beat - a bit too much maybe, but he was never embarrassed.

Seattle needs a guard. I was the bugler for the Mike Wahle charge, but after another season ending shoulder injury, Wahle should not be counted on any more than Walter Jones. Tackle takes hierarchal priority over guard, and with Jones already stressing the tackle depth, the team can't count on Ray Willis providing depth at guard. That leaves Rob Sims and Wrotto. Sims himself is recovering from a season ending pectoral injury. That seems like a fluke thing, but a fluke that reminds us how quickly a player can go down. Seattle needs a guard, and short of taking Duke Robinson in the first, they're either going to draft polish or potential, and I'd rather suffer through potential than stopgap with someone like Andy Levitre.

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