The Seahawks may not have Julian Peterson, but from the looks of it, they just picked a guy that can replace him. Seattle has a new resident mama’s boy in Aaron Curry, considered by many to be the very best player in the draft, and he brings a talent level, some say, even higher than Lofa Tatupu.
After the Trade of Peterson, the teams “best in the league” linebacking corps was cut by a third, which is still a great group. That said, the Seahawks front office felt that they were in a position where they could pick the best player available, which for many teams picking so high in the draft is an enviable position. After all, a top five pick often guarantees an amount of money that makes NFL pro-bowlers blush. They were lucky that the three teams before them – Detroit, St. Louis, and Kansas City – found that they needed specific players to fill their needs, which meant that a player like Curry dropped to the team that wanted him the most.
However, Curry wasn’t the only great move made by the Hawks on draft weekend. After the Curry deal was done the first thing they did was trade a second round pick to Denver for their first-round pick next year. This could be a genius move, because the value of the trade was off the charts. While the pool of talent was believed to be shallow this year, next year is expected to be full of NFL ready players.
In the meantime, a center from Oregon by the name of Max Unger was sliding in the second round. At a certain point the Hawks draft room was considering the value of trading up in the draft to obtain him, and trade up they did. They offloaded a third and fourth round pick in order to obtain him, so at this point they had essentially traded a third and fourth round pick this year for a first rounder next year.
Once they got into the third round, they saw yet another player they liked dropping into a high-value spot. This time it was Deon Butler, essentially a clone of former Hawks player Bobby Engram, who had broken numerous records at Engram’s old stomping grounds of Penn State. What did they trade to get into position to draft him? This year’s fifth and seventh round picks, along with next year’s third-rounder.
So let’s look at that future first-rounder the Seahawks got earlier again. They traded that second round pick originally, then traded a third and fourth pick to make up for that second round pick, and finally a fifth, sixth, and next year’s third pick. Let’s look at the value: a fourth, fifth, and sixth round pick along with a third round pick next year for a first rounder next year. This is on top of getting the best player in the draft and two players that can potentially contribute as early as September 13, the day the season starts.
For 31 of the 32 teams in the National Football League, draft day is the most important day of the year. All of the teams that couldn’t win the big game are looking for those new players that will put them on top. Tomorrows NFL stars start their careers waiting to be picked by a team that needs them.
However, not all teams had winning draft classes. Take a look at the Oakland Raiders. While Darrius Heyward-Bey is one of the fastest guys in the league, he has a hard time catching passes and running routes, and was not believed to be more desrving of his draft position over other wide receiver standouts Michael Crabtree or Jeremy Maclin. Then, in the second round, they took a player who had been rated as having seventh round talent.