Bizarro Seahawks: What Seattle would look like if it followed experts' NFL mock draft advice

Jonathan Ferrey

No Richard Sherman or Earl Thomas. Andy Dalton throwing to Randall Cobb. Russell Wilson backing up Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. We took a look back at the last few ESPN mock drafts and re-imagined the roster of the Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks.

With just under 30 seconds remaining in the NFC Championship Game, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick lofts a deep pass into the back of the end zone. Since the Seattle Seahawks didn't draft Richard Sherman in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, there is no All-Pro cornerback there to tip the pass away (on the bright side, Sherman is not there to break Twitter with his postgame rant). Instead, there is some guy named Chris Rucker who can't make the physics-defying, mid-air adjustment to keep Michael Crabtree from hauling in the pass that sends the Niners to the Super Bowl. Even if Sherman is around, eventual Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith isn't there to make the game-sealing pick off the deflection. Come to think of it, the Seahawks aren't even playing in the NFC title game at all, since an opening-round meltdown by their franchise quarterback, Andy Dalton, knocked them out of the playoffs weeks prior.

Such is the alternate universe where the Seahawks franchise followed the advice of resident NFL Draft experts. We dragged up the mock drafts dating back to 2010 from Scouts Inc., a partner with ESPN directed by well-known draft personality Todd McShay, and retooled the Seahawks' roster based on those projections (and sprinkled in a delightfully bad pick by Mel Kiper Jr., because who doesn't enjoy laughing at Mel Kiper Jr.?).

Sherman is by far the biggest whiff. Instead of taking the league's top cover corner in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, McShay had Seattle drafting Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich. Herzlich went undrafted, and while his tale of battling through cancer to play pro football is as inspiring as it gets, he has served primarily as a special teamer with the New York Giants over the last three years.

In fact, the McShay-managed Seahawks would have almost none of the players in the dominant secondary that came to be known as the Legion of Boom. They would not have used a first-round pick in the 2010 draft to grab All-Pro safety Earl Thomas (though in his defense, McShay had Seattle nabbing dominant Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul instead), and would have passed on his secondary mate, Kam Chancellor, four rounds later. McShay did accurately predict the 2010 selection of reserve cornerback Walter Thurmond.

The most amusing misfire is in Kiper's 2011 mock, which had the Seahawks taking Dalton with the No. 25 overall pick. Sure, Dalton has shown promise during his three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, but he has been notoriously bad in the postseason. He has an 0-3 record in the playoffs, which basically makes him the anti-Russell Wilson.

Speaking of Wilson, he fell to the fourth round of McShay's 2012 mock, landing as a probable career backup to Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. With the third-round pick that the real-life Seahawks used to take their Pro Bowl quarterback, McShay had Seattle selecting Brandon Brooks, the current starting right guard for the Houston Texans.

McShay also missed the 2011 seventh-round selection of Smith, the linebacker whose pick-six off Peyton Manning helped the Seahawks break open the Super Bowl and earned him the game's MVP award.

McShay has not been all wrong. In 2012, he had the Seahawks using their top pick on defensive end Chandler Jones, who had 11.5 sacks for the New England Patriots in 2013. Instead, the Seahawks chose Bruce Irvin, who had just two sacks last season. The idea of Chandler and Pierre-Paul bookending the same defensive line is scary. The McShay Seahawks would also have had a nice receiving corps, lining up Randall Cobb opposite Eric Decker. With Cobb on the roster, the Seahawks may not have traded for the similarly explosive Percy Harvin last offseason, saving them a 2013 first-round draft pick. And with Decker around in 2011, they may not make a $41 million blunder on another former Viking, Sidney Rice.

McShay's offensive line selections are somewhat of a mixed bag. On one hand, he has the Seahawks taking left tackle Trent Williams -- the Washington Redskins' lone Pro Bowler in 2013 and the highest-rated tackle by Pro Football Focus -- instead of Russell Okung with their top pick in 2010. McShay also nabbed Brooks, although it was at the expense of Wilson. On the flip side, his first-round pick in 2011, guard Danny Watkins, went belly-up with Philadelphia and is now a sparsely used reserve in Miami. The real Seahawks instead used that pick on James Carpenter, who played in all 16 games at left guard this season. McShay also missed the seventh-round pickup of J.R. Sweezy, who started 15 games at the other guard spot.

Just for kicks, here's a look at McShay and Kiper's bizzaro Seahawks offense (note: asterisks denote players that would be on the team anyway, as they were either drafted prior to 2010 or came to Seattle by a means other than the draft).

QB: Andy Dalton

RB: Marshawn Lynch*

FB: Derrick Coleman*

WR: Randall Cobb

WR: Eric Decker

TE: Zach Miller*

LT: Trent Williams

LG: Brandon Brooks

C: Max Unger*

RG: Shelley Smith

RT: Breno Giacomini*

So would McShay's squad have been able to win Super Bowl XLVIII? Outside of the Dalton/Wilson switch, his offense is actually an upgrade over the one that lined up on Super Bowl Sunday, with big-play threats on the outside and a bulked-up offensive line. Hell, given the strength of the defense, even Dalton may have been able to ride their coattails through the playoffs.

But that's the major difference: the defense. While the line would be a bit stronger (though the current unit isn't too shabby themselves), the absence of the Legion of Boom dooms the McShays. Seattle was the top defensive unit in the league last season and limited opponents to 172 passing yards per game. The real-life Seahawks were carried to an NFL title on the backs of a secondary crafted through the draft. And that's where the draft experts fell short.

Here's the complete list of Scout Inc.'s mock drafts since 2010, side-by-side with the Seahawks' actual picks:

Round Scouts Inc. mock Actual Seahawks pick
2010
1 OT Trent Williams OT Russell Okung
1 DE Jason Pierre-Paul S Earl Thomas
2 WR Eric Decker WR Golden Tate
4 S Larry Asante CB Walter Thurmond
4 RB Jonathan Dwyer DE E.J. Wilson
5 CB Walter Thurmond S Kam Chancellor
5 OG Shelley Smith
6 DT Corey Peters TE Anthony McCoy
7
DE Dexter Davis
7 Jameson Konz
2011
1 OG Danny Watkins OT James Carpenter
2 WR Randall Cobb
3 OG John Moffitt
4 QB Ricky Stanzi LB K.J. Wright
4 WR Kris Durham
5 OT Derek Newton CB Richard Sherman
5 LB Mark Herzlich S Mark LeGree
6 CB Chris Rucker CB Byron Maxwell
7 DT Martin Parker DE Lazarius Levingston
7 LB Malcolm Smith
2012
1 DE Chandler Jones DE Bruce Irvin
2 LB Lavonte David LB Bobby Wagner
3 OG Brandon Brooks QB Russell Wilson
4 WR Nick Toon RB Robert Turbin
4 DT Jaye Howard
5
LB Korey Toomer
6 S Eddie Pleasant CB Jeremy Lane
6 S Winston Guy
7 LB Najee Goode OG J.R. Sweezy
7 DE Greg Scruggs
2013
2 LB Sio Moore RB Christine Michael
3 DT Bennie Logan DT Jordan Hill
4 CB Daxton Swanson WR Chris Harper
5 DE Quanterus Smith DT Jesse Williams
5 WR Tavarres King CB Tharold Simon
5 TE Luke Willson
6 OT Tanner Hawkinson RB Spencer Ware
7 QB Jordan Rodgers OT Michael Bowie

More from SB Nation NFL Draft

NFL mock draft: The Rams get a new quarterback

Rankings: Top 200 | QB | WR | OT | DE | ILB | CB

2014 NFL Draft underclassman tracker

Jadeveon Clowney scouting report

Evaluating Michael Sam on the field

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.