I wouldn't under any circumstances consider myself a 'draft expert'-- I wouldn't even call myself a draft enthusiast.
There's simply too many moving parts, speculation and sheer gambling involved for me to even take an interest in the over analysis that accompanies the draft. I enjoy the combine for the raw displays of athletic talent but I don't read into it any further than that. Seeing the lives of players and states of franchises beam with optimism makes the draft enjoyable to me. Then again, I'm the guy who can enjoy watching the Pro Bowl without feeling like I'm being cheated out of a certain level of entertainment.
However, I thought I had nailed down a surefire selection for the Seahawks when I thought that they should and would draft The Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu.
It just made too much sense at the time for me to assume anything other than it being a sure thing. Mathieu's talent was undeniable, but his draft stock had plummeted after a number of off field incidents. This seemed to play into Seattle's favor since, leading up to the draft, Mathieu had said and done all the right things to prove he was ready to do whatever it took to earn a spot on an NFL roster. History has shown us that Pete Carroll and John Schneider won't shy away from character issues if the talent is there.
Seattle didn't have a first round pick but they had more than 10 picks at their disposal and very few areas of need to address. Nickle corner was a significant area of concern for the Seahawks, but Antoine Winfield was signed just before the draft to solve that issue. Still, I thought they would exhibit the same approach they took when drafting Bruce Irvin, with the expectation of having him brought along slowly to eventually replace the veteran.
Not to mention, with Leon Washington gone and Percy Harvin getting a huge contract, it seemed logical to me that Tyrann Mathieu could be a cheaper alternative in the return game with the same explosive potential every time the ball is in his hands.
Taking all those things into consideration, I thought for sure Seattle would either reach in the third round for him or take him in the 4-5th rounds where he was expected to fall. I'll likely never know if Seattle had Mathieu on their board but the opportunity never presented itself as Mathieu was nabbed by division rivals, the Arizona Cardinals.
When the Cardinals took Mathieu with the 69th pick overall in the 2013 draft, I remember thinking to myself, "Whelp-- I guess I have to hate you now".
Mathieu has that type of personality that fans will embrace and opponents will despise if he's producing on field. It's similar to that of our own Richard Sherman, San Francisco's Jim Harbaugh or New England's Bill Belichick-- so long as you get your job done, the fans will love you for who you are. Your personality 'quirks' will infuriate opposing fans exponentially as your success grows.
Unfortunately for us Seahawks fans, Mathieu has been making waves with his early success in camp and in his debut preseason game wherein he secured his first sack and impressive day in the return game. Only time will tell if Tyrann can keep his focus in check well enough to allow for his tremendous natural talent to shine but he's certainly off to a great start.
It's too bad. It could've been sweet to have you here in Seattle, Tyrann, but it is what it is. I can only hope that you understand why I'll be forced to hate you from now on-- or at least until you're out of the NFC West.