I dreamed a dream that April 30 will actually mean something to the Seattle Seahawks. 'Twas nothing more than a dream unfortunately, as it is almost certain that the Seahawks will spend most of the day scratching off names they already knew they'd never be able to draft, and pontificating Mel Kiper's existence like the rest of us.
Jameis Winston? More like Dreamis Winston.
Marcus Mariota? More like Far-cry Mari-no-ta.
Vic Beasley? More like Vitch, Pleasey!
Not that Seattle would draft Winston or Mariota, but it would at least be nice to have the first overall pick and then decide what to do with it. After thinking about it for the last, oh, two years, I think it seems more obvious that the best teams should be rewarded. Obviously they deserve it and I believe that with every fiber of my being ...
Until the Seahawks are bad again, at least.
The first day of the draft has always been one of the biggest days on my calendar (even when it was more than one round and was on a Saturday) but this year, we will be solely invested in what other teams are doing, if you're even invested at all.
Please also note that just as we've done in the past, myself and Rob Staton of SeahawksDraftBlog.com will be live commentating the draft. Basically, you should come to Field Gulls, open up the post with the feed, listen to us talk about every pick, and turn down the volume on your TV. It'll be like directors commentary and you won't have to hear every word that Kiper says. We'll have guests dropping by to talk about the big picks and moves of the day.
Maybe John Schneider and Pete Carroll won't be picking on Thursday, but as Ludacris once asked me personally: "What's your fantasy?"
If the Seahawks were picking first
The bold move - Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Think about it for longer than one second, because there's this whole matter of Russell Wilson's contract, baseball, Schneider's cryptic comments to the media, and salary cap. Sure, Seattle and Wilson will eventually reach a deal, but if we were working with 100 percent logic and zero percent emotion, this could be an ideal switch.
People have been arguing for months if he's going to be a bust or not -- as they do with every top prospect -- so there's always that risk because we know how good Wilson is, but Winston would be coming into a pretty ideal situation. Nobody would be relying on him to carry the team, to be a star, to shoulder the burden. Winston could make $25 million over the next four years, while Wilson could cost $25 million per season.
I am not in support of replacing Wilson in any capacity, but if Winston lived up to his potential and the Seahawks used all the money saved to keep the core together and more, they could be the greatest team of all-time.
The safe move - Dem picks, dem picks, dem picks
Then again, what's better than saving millions on one player? Saving millions on ... more than ... one player.
Anybody moving up for Winston would have to sacrifice at least their first round pick in 2015 and their first in 2016. That's not even up for debate. It's just about how juicy the accoutrements are. They could even snag three first round picks in such a deal and imagine what that would be like:
John Schneider having three more opportunities to trade out of the first round!
The notion of saving that much money at the quarterback position over the next four years is enticing, but there's no way that Schneider would choose a question mark at QB over additional picks. Trading down is just in his nature.
If the Seahawks were picking second
The bold move - Draft Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Well, just re-apply pretty much everything said about Winston. You can prefer one over the other but it really doesn't change the logistics of the "bold move" versus the "safe" one.
The safe move - Dem picks, dem picks, dem picks
The third move - Draft Leonard Williams, DT, USC
Then again, Seattle could just say "screw 'em all" and draft Williams, who has the potential to be an elite defensive lineman in the mold of Gerald McCoy or J.J. Watt. Trading down more than one spot assumes a risk of missing out on a transcendent defensive prospect for merely a "great" one.
But sometimes that is the difference between getting McCoy and getting Tyson Alualu.
If the Seahawks were picking third
The bold move - Don't be bold, take Williams.
The safe move - Draft Leonard Williams, DT
I don't have any important feelings about Williams being better than a couple of other prospects, just seems to make a lot of sense to me. But if you wanted to argue one of the other guys projected to go this high, I won't fight ya.
If the Seahawks were picking fourth
The bold move - Draft Vic Beasley, OLB/DE, Clemson
You hear a lot of names thrown around as the top pass rusher in the draft this year: Beasley, Dante Fowler, Shane Ray, as well as Bud Dupree and Randy Gregory. Seattle's pass rush could be better but it's certainly not the biggest area of need and there are a couple of great receivers still on the board. Or they could try to trade down and pick up some extra picks, then take a receiver or an offensive tackle.
However, if Beasley is truly a great pass rusher, he'd be the guy to take the defense to the next level and also make the front office more comfortable about losing soon-to-be-free-agent Bruce Irvin.
The safe move - Draft Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
I recently showed a mock draft that I had done to someone and it didn't have Cooper in the top five and he told me, "No, incorrect. Cooper is amazing," or something to that effect. He'd reunite with Kevin Norwood and give the Seahawks arguably their second-best receiver in franchise history after Steve Largent. As an organization, Seattle has only spent two first round picks on a receiver -- Joey Galloway and Koren Robinson -- and all the receivers they've ever drafted have only combined for four Pro Bowl selections, one of which went to Alex Bannister for special teams.
Overall, you're talking about Largent, Brian Blades, Darrell Jackson, and Bobby Engram as the best receivers in franchise history, and you get to "Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram" way too quickly on that list. Time to make the donuts and find someone who can do a little more out there.
If the Seahawks were picking fifth
The bold move -- Draft Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
Oh man, if this happened, they'd be passing on a receiver like Cooper or Kevin White, or a pass rusher like Beasley or Fowler. No doubt people would be losing their shit by taking a boring offensive lineman over an exciting pass-catcher or pass-rusher ... remember, it's a PASSING league!
However, the Seahawks are probably targeting an offensive lineman with their first pick in the draft, it just happens to be way down at 63. That's because Max Unger and James Carpenter are gone, leaving two-fifths of the starters still needing to be replaced, and Russell Okung is one year away from
retirement free agency. The idea of Justin Britt at left tackle is terrifying (though it's not fair to judge anyone on their rookie season, really) and this would give Scherff a whole year to play left guard and then possibly prepare to be a starting tackle in 2016.
There appears to be a big drop-off from Scherff to all the other lineman this year. He'd be an ideal get for Carroll, but is this too high?
The safe move -- Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
Let's say that Cooper was picked by the Raiders, then White becomes the de factor top receiver on the board.
These kids are just getting more and more ridiculous at the combine every year. White ran a 4.35 at 6'3, 215 pounds. He's strong and he was a top 10 receiver in the country last season in catches and yards. I've heard that there are only three receivers in this draft that could really be "number one" receivers: Cooper, White, and Dorial Green-Beckham. This would give Seattle a chance to draft one of those guys and keep their peace of mind.
If the Seahawks were picking tenth
The bold move -- Trade up for Cooper, White, Scherff, or Fowler
Moving along and skipping down a few steps ....
Seattle has 11 picks this year. Are they going to be satisfied with DeVante Parker when they could make try and make a bold move for Cooper? Are they going to take a chance on Randy Gregory instead of feeling a little more comfortable with Fowler or perhaps Ray? The only problem is that trading up in this area, only five spots, is often going to cost you a future first. It happened to the Buffalo Bills in 2014 when they wanted Sammy Watkins, but then again, the Miami Dolphins traded up from 12 to three in order to get Dion Jordan.
Are the Raiders still open to being cheap?
The bold move #2 -- Draft Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF
Over his last two seasons, Perriman caught 89 passes for 1,855 yards (over 20 yards per catch) and 13 touchdowns. That's nice, but then he ran his 40 in the mid 4.2s and at that point I was thinking, "Oh wow, nice. Must be another Dri Archer or something."
Except that Archer ran a 4.26 and weighs 173 pounds.
Perriman ran a 40 that ranged from 4.22 to 4.27, depending on who you ask (call it 4.25) and weighs 212 pounds and is 6'2. He actually looks like a receiver but runs like some freak athlete you put on kick returns and give a cool nickname like "The Sniper."
Then you look at Troy Williamson and Darrius Heyward-Bey and start to wonder if any of this really matters.
Yes, it does matter. It's just really, really hard to predict which guys are actually going to show that it matters. Perriman is a bold move because this draft is loaded with great receiving prospects, including guys they could trade back for like Nelson Agholor, like Jaelen Strong, even like Breshad Perriman (this would be pretty high for him!) but maybe it pays off and you don't overthink it. "Why the fuck are we even drafting 10th?!" is what I would be saying. Consider it a blessing.
Guys like Scherff and cornerback Trae Waynes may be available. It's also possible that White would be, but probably also Parker and a few other more "safe" moves. Define "Safe."
If the Seahawks were picking 15th
The bold move -- Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Not only would Seattle be announcing that they've found their Marshawn Lynch replacement, but they'd also be announcing that Robert Turbin "has a place and he should stick to it, don't get any designs for anything bigger" and that Christine Michael's days were numbered. If he hadn't already been traded at that point, he'd be gone before Sunday.
Basically, they'd be replacing Christine with someone a bit more Gurley.
In a draft that features Melvin Gordon, who put up some of the most ridiculous college numbers you'll ever see (2,587 rushing yards, 29 touchdowns as a senior, 408 yards against Nebraska) it's Gurley that's the preeminent back. He had 911 yards in six games, 7.2 yards per carry, and was well on his way to 2,000 yards if not for tearing his ACL in November.
It may seem like running back overkill when you already have what the Seahawks have, but their whole philosophy (with the exception of the biggest play in franchise history) is to run the football. So no, you can never have too many elite running backs in this system. Wait, what if they had like 30 running backs? That would be a god awful fucking team.
You can have two elite running backs though, and that's probably what they'd get with Lynch and Gurley.
The safe move -- Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
If he'd even still be available, Shelton would be an absolute monster in the middle of the defensive line, and let's be honest: The problems at defensive tackle last season had a lot to do with the struggles in some of those games down the stretch. When you're giving significant snaps to some dude named Landon in the Super Bowl, you probably could use some help in that area.
Shelton has been rising quickly up draft boards and looks to be a potential mid-first steal right now. The bonus is that he wouldn't have to move far, just upgrade them digs probably.
If the Seahawks were picking 20th
The bold move -- Draft Byron Jones, CB, UCONN
This move is bold for two reasons: Seattle has never shown a propensity for feeling the need to draft a cornerback on day one or two, so why start now? Cary Williams is most certainly the starter opposite of Richard Sherman, so why spent a first round pick on someone who might not help you until 2016 or 2017 at the earliest? Also, Jones was considered a virtual lock for day three before the combine. Why the change now?
Well, it was a pretty damn ridiculous combine.
In addition to the world record in the broad jump, he nearly set the combine record in the vertical leap (set this year also by Chris Conley, WR, Georgia) and then ran a 4.35 at his pro day. I also had the chance to talk to Jones and he's just a good dude that will absolutely never give you a problem off of the field. He's got the size (6'2) and arm length (32") that Carroll likes as well.
Jones could take this secondary to a whole 'nother level and we didn't even think 'nother level even existed. Or this whole combine shit could be overblown.
The safe moves
These are just some of the names I think could be available at 20: Gregory, Agholor, Green-Beckham, Gordon, Jalen Collins, Strong, Andrus Peat, Cameron Erving.
Probably the safest would be Erving, who projects as the top center in the class. So you take a center and boom, you've got your next Max Unger for the next 10 years. I'm gonna censor myself because I don't want to offend Erving but ...
Shades of Chris Spencer. Please take a center in the fourth round like a normal champion.
It's hard to say that Gordon isn't intriguing, as well as Collins, who Staton told me could very well be the best corner in this draft.
Well, let me leave you with some good news: The Seattle Seahawks won't be picking in the first round at all, so this has been moot. Have a great weekend!