By Jim Moore
I’ll be honest, until 5:35 p.m. on Friday when the Seahawks picked him, I’d never heard of Christine Michael.
During our broadcast from the team’s headquarters in Renton, I looked at producer Jessamyn McIntyre and asked: “Are we sure it’s not Michael Christine?”
And then, of course, I assumed that he pronounced his name like my ex-wife pronounces Christine, as in KRIS-TEEN. But then we were told it’s KRIS-TIN, not KRIS-TEEN. And after that, we got official word from the Seahawks that it’s actually KRISH-TIN, like Christian.
I haven’t even mentioned the most confusing part yet – Michael’s a running back. For weeks – maybe even months – before the draft, we never talked about a Seahawks’ need at running back.
Seattle used its first pick on a running back, Christine Michael from Texas A&M, despite greater needs elsewhere. (AP)
They have Marshawn Lynch, who at 27 appears to have a good two years left, recognizing that with his running style, he’ll probably never be effective at 30. And they have Robert Turbin, a second-year player who was a largely productive backup last year.
There were greater needs elsewhere. Seemingly, the Seahawks would target a weak-side linebacker to replace free agent Leroy Hill. That’s the only starting spot that appears up for grabs. With all of their picks, you would have expected the Seahawks to draft one, maybe two, perhaps three linebackers, and naturally they didn’t take any.
Apparently they’re comfortable with having last year’s backup, Malcolm Smith, starting at that spot or moving K.J. Wright over from strong-side linebacker and trying Cliff Avril in his place.
We thought that Avril was primarily signed to be a pass-rushing defensive end, but the Seahawks are into hybrids and versatility, and the former Detroit Lion might occasionally play off the line of scrimmage. Or not. Who knows what the Seahawks are thinking about pretty much everything?
As for Michael, general manager John Schneider said he was the best player on the Seahawks’ board when it was time to make their selection at No. 62. And it turned out just like Kip Earlywine of SeahawksDraftBlog.com said it would – he actually predicted the Seahawks would take Michael.
I don’t know how Michael will turn out as a pro, but I know this: I’m taking Earlywine with me the next time I go to Emerald Downs.
Personally, I consider it a good sign for the Seahawks if I’ve never heard of their draft picks or understand why they would take a certain player when they did.
Such as LSU running back Spencer Ware in the sixth round. As in: Why would they take another running back after taking Michael? What does it mean? In 2016, Michael, Turbin and Ware will be a three-headed monster in the Seahawks’ backfield.
My favorite Seahawks’ pick was cornerback Tharold Simon, Ware’s teammate at LSU, in the fifth round. Remember, the Seahawks selected Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor in the fifth round and look at them now.
But that’s not why I like the Simon pick. I like it because it’s controversial. Simon was arrested last Thursday in his hometown of Eunice, La., after being asked to move his car and getting into a verbal sparring match with a police officer.
There are two sides of the story – maybe Simon encountered a power-trippin’ cop who went too far with the arrest; or maybe Simon deserved to be arrested. I have no idea how that will play out, but the Seahawks were comfortable enough with the situation to draft him, so I guess that says something.
It speaks to my sickness as a human being when I say that I was amused by the following news: They had planned a “Tharold Simon Day” the very next day in Eunice and had to cancel all of the ceremonies after the arrest. I don’t know, I just find that little coincidence comical when other more well-adjusted human beings would find it troubling.
All will be forgotten if Simon becomes a cheaper replacement for Brandon Browner next year.
The worst Seahawks’ pick was Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams in the fifth round. I say this because I’ve actually heard of him, which means he’s destined to be a bust. He’s the Aussie who has the YOLO (You Only Live Once) tattoo on his face.
I can’t wait to talk to this kid, but if he was projected to go in the first or second round and fell to the fifth, how good can he be?