Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Fresh talent for long-forgotten veterans
By Mike Sando
The San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams earned praise around here for maneuvering their way around the 2013 draft.
Both teams entered the draft with considerable capital -- enough to facilitate significant trades up and down the order.
The Arizona Cardinals acquired Carson Palmer from Oakland for late-round draft considerations, a low price for a starting quarterback.
The Seattle Seahawks, meanwhile, pointed to Percy Harvin's acquisition as the centerpiece of their 2013 draft efforts.
A glance further down the draft order showed Seattle adding two players in the later rounds with picks acquired for long-forgotten veterans. Neither new draft choice projects as an immediate contributor. Both still have to prove they are worthy of spots on the 53-man roster. But for a team that has occasionally found starters in the later rounds -- Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman were fifth-round choices, for example -- those selections also deserve some attention.
So, when we hear about LSU cornerback Tharold Simon and Vanderbilt guard Ryan Seymour at Seattle's rookie minicamp beginning Friday, we should remember how those players made their way onto the Seahawks' roster.
Seattle selected Simon, a 6-foot-2 corner, with the 138th overall choice, acquired from Oakland as part of the Aaron Curry trade. The Seahawks selected Seymour 220th overall with a pick acquired from New Orleans in the Barrett Ruud trade.
Curry and Ruud were players the Seahawks were looking to unload. Both were candidates for release if trades could not be worked out. The value they returned via trade has names and faces now that the 2013 draft class is in place.
Simon in particular appears to be an interesting prospect. Seattle selected him in the fifth round, the same round where the Seahawks drafted Sherman, another tall and rangy corner, back in 2011. Sherman became an All-Pro, which assures nothing for Simon beyond unrealistic expectations. The chart compares combine measurements for both corners, capped by a headline warning against reading too much into the similarities.
As Seahawks general manager John Schneider warned before the draft, "The mistakes that we've made -- or perceived mistakes -- have been things where I’m trying something that I probably shouldn’t have. And then I learn my lesson and don’t do it again -- two in particular. One was comparing a player to another player that we’d had in the past. You never know what’s in somebody’s heart, so you can’t do that. Then the other was just assuming that a player was completely locked away from a football standpoint because he’s been productive, and that he was squared away and confident."