Tuesday, 4 May 2010

What would've happened if....

By Rob Staton
What if Tim Ruskell and Jim Mora were still making the key decisions in Seattle? What if the Eagles had drafted Earl Thomas at #13 instead of Brandon Graham? If Russell Okung had been taken by the Kansas City Chiefs, what would've happened with the 6th overall pick? Here's some suggestions:

What if... Tim Ruskell was still in Seattle?
We all know the Ruskell methodology. He liked to draft seniors in round one from big schools who score high marks for character and production. I think it's likely the Seahawks would've drafted Okung at #6 in a Ruskell regime because he fits every criteria. Seattle probably wouldn't have taken Earl Thomas or Golden Tate - both are underclassmen.

It's hard not to imagine Ruskell falling for someone like Tim Tebow or Colt McCoy. He'd previously said that Seattle were 'in the zone' for a new quarterback. Assuming Charlie Whitehurst wouldn't have moved from San Diego - I think it's fair to assume the Seahawks would've targeted one of the above. Tebow at #14 or after a small trade down? I think a Ruskell regime would've been all over that. A lack of senior pass rushers just increases that likelihood.

Projection: #6 Okung, #14 Tebow, #40 Mays

What if... Earl Thomas was off the board?
A lot of pre-draft talk suggested Philadelphia would make a substantial trade up from #24 to take Earl Thomas. Instead, the Eagles moved up to draft Brandon Graham and settled for Nate Allen (S, USF) in round two. The Seahawks front office have admitted they had a deal in place to move down the board if Thomas hadn't been available.

It's safe to assume Graham could've been a target had he remained on the board and the Seahawks may have felt they could move down a bit and still secure a pass rusher - perhaps even Derrick Morgan. The secondary could've been a general area for target with the likes of Kyle Wilson and Kareem Jackson maybe in contention. If I had to project a likely target though, I think Jared Odrick and Dan Williams would've been very high on Seattle's list.

Projection: Trade down from #14 with Odrick or Williams selected

What if... Kansas City drafted Russell Okung?
In every single one of my mock drafts I had the Chiefs going defense. I never felt they were likely to draft for the offensive line, but a lot of other people thought differently. Had Eric Berry made it to Seattle at #6, I think he would've been the choice regardless of who else was available. This would've forced the Seahawks to look elsewhere at #14.

Seattle's front office clearly felt they needed to get an offensive tackle at some point. At #14, they could've drafted Bryan Bulaga - most likely precluded by a small trade down. They may have avoided the position altogether in round one, knowing as we do now that Charles Brown was available late in the second round.

Projection: #6 Berry, #14 Trade/Williams/Odrick, #60 Brown


Patrick said...

Great idea Rob!! I've wondered myself what this draft would have looked like with Ruskell at the helm. I have to say, looking at the different scenarios makes me like this years draft so much more!! I would take Tate and Thomas over everyone you mentioned. Ha ha, and it's not even close!

Michael said...

I am glad Ruskell was not making the picks. I do love the "what if" game however. Now we can take a few risks here and there although I noticed that Carroll did not take any character risks high in the draft. I admit I am becoming a HUGE fan of our new regime.

Mike Kelly

CLanterman said...

It's hard to say, but it probably would've been the same draft.

Curry was the BPA. Okung was the BPA. 90% of scouts had him as the best LT, whereas 10% expressed deep reservations that he was more of a 15-25 pick. With Berry gone, it seems that Ruskell would snap up Okung.

Same goes for 14. I think he would have chosen between Derrick Morgan and Thomas. Several people had Thomas ranked head to head with Berry, and Morgan was the near consensus best DE in the draft (Not sure why Graham and JPP were drafted before him still). I think Ruskell would have done the right thing and drafted Morgan or Thomas. He may have drafted Clausen. It's almost impossible to tell what a guy's preference in QBs is.
If he had targeted a guy in round 2 he probably would have traded up (a la Max Unger, Carlson, Tatupu). Not sure who he would have targeted, but my hopes would have been Clausen (though without the Whitehurst deal, he wouldn't have needed to trade up). Perhaps with the o-line fiasco (or the fiasco the media portrayed), he would have taken Charles Brown with pick 40. Certainly no one would have complained about that.

James said...

Rob, interesting post. The Seahawks had to land a starting left tackle in the draft. Okung and Williams were the only top grade talents. There is a reason why the best OTs are almost always top 10 draft picks: Munoz, Ogden, Jones, Clady, Thomas, etc. The good lord just doesn't make many 6'5" 310# humans who are mean, fast and have the work ethic to boot. The other prospects, such as McCoy, Bulaga or Brown did not project as immediate starters. In short, the Seahawks would have been in a pickle. They probably would have selected Berry and traded down and selected Brown, but he simply does not project as an elite OT. In the draft, you need to be both lucky and good, and Carroll and Schneider were both this time.

Anonymous said...

I like the thought but Ruskell took safe high floor players and Tebow was not that. He would have grabbed Okung at #6, and Clausen without a doubt after a small trade down but I agree with the Mays selection at #40. Ruskell would be fine with a Clausen, Tate type Jr who has started 2 or 3 seasons in a big conference.

Rob Staton said...

Clanterman - I think it's important to remember though how much Ruskell didn't trust underclassmen in round one after Spencer. Morgan and Thomas were both underclassmen. I don't think Ruskell would've touched Clausen with a barge pole. Tebow however - he's the definitive Ruskell prospect.

Rob Staton said...

Annonymous - a lot of teams were concerned about Clausen's character. Ruskell was big on character and senior prospects staying in school - I don't think Clausen would've been on his board. Tebow however had the production, character, experience, leadeship that Ruskell always looked for. He may have felt he could 'red shirt' Tebow behind Hasselbeck and I have to believe he'd have admired Tebow's desire to correct his mechanics. I think if Ruskell was still in Seattle, Tebow would be also.

Mind of no mind said...

I think Ruskell would have very likely targeted Tebow, but I would be suprised if he would spend a 1st round pick on him. I don't think anyone anticipated him going in the 1st, and he likely would have thought he'd be there at #40 for sure.

I think it would have been Okung, Morgan, then Mays or Gerhart at #40, depending on whether or not he really wanted to focus on the offense. I'm guessing he would have kept Grant on the roster so the need at safety might not be quite as pressing.

Rob Staton said...

I think by draft day it was inevitable Tebow would go in the first round, it was just about who made the bold move. Seattle could've essentially moved down from #14 like Denver did and taken Tebow. Had Ruskell been the GM this draft, it would not have surprised me at all to see Tebow drafted by Seattle.

Playstead said...

I totally agree with Okung, but there is no way in hell Ruskell would have taken Tebow. We can bash Tim for all his mistakes, but he was a personnel guy first, and that is not a pick he would have made. He tended to go with the safer pick so I could have seen him going with someone like Derrick Morgan or he would have traded down.

CLanterman said...

Good points Rob. As 'safe' as Ruskell was, you're right in that he definitely over-emphasized seniors and character. Which is a bit ridiculous because Earl Thomas and Derrick Morgan are both pretty damn safe draft picks in my opinion.