Mel Kiper released his final mock draft for 2011 last night and had the Seahawks selecting QB Andy Dalton with #25. You all probably know how I feel about this and I know what most of you feel about it as well. To me, this is not a good value. Dalton could prove me wrong and be the Hawks' new franchise QB but for a guy that was basically a consensus 4th round pick a month or two ago and a "career backup" in most reports I saw, reaching for him at #25 would be a big mistake. I should point out that I wouldn't be disappointed to see Dalton chosen by the Hawks in the 4th round - where he had been projected up until silly season began about three weeks ago, but there's no reason he should have jumped so far forward other than mass hysteria and group think. Did some magical tape recently come out showing how great he actually is?
I just don't think Kiper's situation will happen. The Hawks won't freak out and take any QB just because they have a need at QB. John Schneider and Pete Carroll aren't going to hitch their wagon to Dalton this early in their tenure. I could be wrong, as I've seen this scenario a LOT lately from a ton of big names in the draft world, but I hope not.
Anyway, here's what Kiper had to say about the selection:
Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
There is talk that Seattle would be happy to move off this pick, but if not, Dalton is a guy who makes a lot of sense. A darling of the draft process, Dalton has impressed with his accuracy, smarts, better-than-expected arm strength and the suspicion that he might be as ready or more than any other QB in the draft to step in and manage an NFL offense. Seattle might need a guy like that sooner than it'd like given the question mark at quarterback. Locker is clearly an option here if he's still around, but for this exercise, he isn't, and Dalton is the fit.
"Suspicion that he might be as ready or more than any other QB in the draft to step in and manage an NFL offense." Boy I'm really hoping we can get someone to 'manage' our offense with our first round pick. That would be awesome. We should look to someone in the 2nd round that could be a 'competent' player on the d-line. After that, we should target an 'adequate' corner that could play 'decently' in the secondary. Later, we should try and pick up a 'tolerable' wide receiver and hope to get lucky by landing an 'acceptable' offensive lineman. Then our team would be ready for the Super Bowl!
Actually, I would prefer we try and target elite players, because elite players win championships and they're helped out by role players in surrounding positions. No, that's not quite right; rather, elite quarterbacks win championships when they're surrounded by top-tier talent at key positions. When that doesn't happen it's an exception to the rule. Go take a look at the last 20 years of Super Bowls. There are like 3 or 4 won by teams with quarterbacks you could consider 'less than elite'. I'm hoping we aren't strategizing our entire organization on trying to be a part of that extreme minority.
I'm done ranting. Andy Dalton very well may end up being an elite talent but that's not really my point. I don't necessarily think he'll fail as an NFL QB but the way he's been evaluated up until very recently the odds for that happening are very very long. What I do not like is that the media has painted the situation as one where the Hawks (or other QB needy teams) are so desperate for a QB they'll just take 'whoever' in a blind attempt to solve that problem right now. I just don't see it happening. Especially not with Andy Dalton, who John Clayton called "just a guy" at the Combine. I apologize for not getting excited about that.