For those of you who follow me on twitter you are probably already more than aware that I am Todd Gurley's top hype man. He raps and gets the hunnies -- I swing a sweaty white towel in the air and get the crowd pumped up. Although this marriage of flyness hasn't come without some serious resistance from the fans. So, like any popular hip-hop tandem in history (see: Kid ‘n Play) we kept ‘Rollin' (swag).
Haters Gonna Hate.
So whats all the backlash about? Well, with the impending potential of a Marshawn Lynch walk-off final season there appears to be a void to fill in the backfield. As a Seahawks fan, I am well aware of Robert Turbin's ample abilities to tote the rock, and Christine Michael's otherworldly athleticism, but It doesn't appear to be enough. Marshawn isn't/wasn't just your average running back. He is a work horse who punishes those that stand in front of him, repeatedly. I can't imagine moving on from a legend in Seattle like BeastMode just to hand the keys to the city to the duo of Turb and C-Mike. Its probably a luxury and maybe even a bit of a pipe dream, but Todd Gurley to Seattle just feels right.
Prior to Todd Gurley's unfortunate ACL tear, you couldn't possibly have imagined him falling to the end of the first round of the 2015 NFL draft -- or even into the second round for that matter. We are talking about a complete three-down back with elite levels of talent. A player who rarely fumbles, punishes defenses upon contact, has solid vision (check the tape), top notch lateral agility, pass protects well and can catch screen passes like a boss out of the backfield. You would have to gene splice Turbin and Michael together just to achieve a player of that caliber.
Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody.
Yes, his ACL tear is obviously a concern, especially when you are talking about a first round selection and a team that prides themselves on triple checking prospects. The fact of the matter is that numerous players have bounced back from this injury to never have a problem with it again. Even more comforting is the fact that Todd himself is only 20 years old and wont even turn 21 until a month before the kickoff of the 2015 NFL season. He's not some Cameron Artis-Payne who is turning 23 years old 2 months before kickoff to the 2015 season -- he's still very young. These are all reasons I have extreme confidence in Gurley's ability to rehab and come back stronger than ever from this injury/surgery.
Todd Is A ‘Class Act'
I am really on fire with all these Kid n' Play related puns BTW. Aside from the looming negative swirling around Todd Gurley, let us shine some light on the overwhelmingly positive aspects of what he would bring to Seattle. For starters Todd was a three year starter in the SEC for the Georgia Bulldogs and over the course of those 3 seasons (including his injury) here is how he fared...
He was absolutely dominant in the run game, and for those of you who haven't actually watched any of his tape I would HIGHLY suggest you chiggity-check it out. In addition to his on field production, Todd's physical stature and style of play yield comparisons to the one and only Marshawn Lynch. Gurley came in at 6'-1" tall and weighed in at 222lbs at the recent NFL combine, close to Marshawn Lynch, who stands 5'-10" tall and weighs 215lbs. As far as on-field and off-field character goes I doubt you could find many players more perfectly fit for this Seattle Seahawks organization than Todd Gurley. By all accounts, he's accountable, a consummate professional, a hard worker, and true team player *swings towel wildly*.
So What'Up Then?
Again, I realize that this selection is an absolute luxury and does not come without a bit of risk attached to it. However,what would your answer be if Lynch decides to retire and I said, "here is a generational running back in Todd Gurley. He should have been a top 15 selection if healthy, but because he tore his ACL here he is at pick 31". Would you take him? With all the damage to our secondary and players leaving in free agency I wouldn't put up a fight if you decided otherwise, but I think deep down inside the idea of transitioning from one Marshawn Lynch to the next sounds like a pretty incredible prospect to all of us.
Now everybody do the Funky Charelston.