ESPN’s Mel Kiper gets immeasurable amounts of hate from fans, but sometimes I wonder why his colleague Todd McShay gets an amount of hate that can at least be measured to be less than that of Kiper. Is it the hair? The fact that Kiper is the face of the draft on draft day and people just tire of the same old thing, or that fans of every team can remember the time he was painfully wrong about a now-popular player?
I can’t say for sure (I imagine it’s closest to the last reason) but let’s be honest and say we forgive Kiper less than we forgive McShay. I don’t have a personal dog in the fight, I gave up hatred for sports analysts awhile ago, but I will say this:
This week, Kiper and McShay released a “dueling” two-round 2017 mock draft, and I much preferred Kiper’s version. Not because of the first round, in which I think it was close if not leaning towards McShay, but because of an absolute steal in the second. Perhaps one that won’t be possible — after all, Kiper still thinks Garett Bolles will go in round two (37 to the Rams) — but sure would be popular.
In the article (Insider), McShay has the Seattle Seahawks taking UW cornerback Kevin King in round one. The move, which some of us have been talking about for months despite the fact that many people still have King going in the middle of round two, comes as a product of necessity, athleticism, and the fact that in McShay’s draft, there aren’t any linemen worth taking; Forrest Lamp went 15th overall, Bolles went 20th.
McShay says that the Seahawks won’t reach for a lineman ... but then in the second round, that’s exactly what he has them doing. Seattle’s second pick in his mock is offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor out of Texas A&M. A player that I don’t believe we’ve ever discussed, the biggest thing Eluemunor has to connect him to the Seahawks is the fact that he’s an Aggie lineman, much like Germain Ifedi, Luke Joeckel, and Patrick Lewis. He also transferred out of “Last Chance U” like Jarran Reed once did. But Eluemunor is a project who might be best suited for guard (his NFL.com pro comparison: Alvin Bailey) and that does not seem like a move that Seattle needs to make on day two of a draft that will have some really good players available at 58.
I would much prefer Kiper’s scenario.
Kiper has the Seahawks taking Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey in round one; though he’s three inches shorter than King, Humphrey still has the arm length, speed, and athleticism that Seattle prefers in a corner. If he’s available at 26, Humphrey very well could be the pick. That being said, Kiper also has Bolles available here and I would still say that’s going to be a better long-term play than Humphrey. Even if Richard Sherman were traded, I don’t think the Seahawks can leave this draft without Garett Bolles if he fell to pick 26.
Now only if they did find a way to make their top two picks Bolles and T.J. Watt.
That’s the second player that Kiper has Seattle taking in this draft. Thought by many to have made his way into at least the top 40, if not the first round, Watt could put a hand down as a defensive end in the Seahawks defense or work out of the SAM and perhaps backup the Will. No surprise given the bloodline, he’s an incredibly gifted athlete and a unique physical player who could absolutely be a steal at pick 58. I’m not sure it fills a great need, but you never know what you need until it’s gone.
And pass rushers are one thing that you can definitely never too many of -- don’t forget that Michael Bennett missed five games last season. Watt’s versatility gives him the bonus of being able to backup several positions next year with an eye on becoming a permanent fixture at one of them.
So, King-another Texas A&M lineman or Humphrey-Watt? I’m going Kiper on this one, and it doesn’t pain me to say it.