The final seconds tick off the clock. Beads of sweat trickle down your face as you shuffle through your notes. All around you, phones ring and voices fight to be heard. You’re moments away from making Seattle’s first pick in the 2011 National Football League Draft and you’ve decided the team’s going to invest in a quarterback and the options at the position are plenty.
There’s Jake Locker. He’s the local product who has captured the hearts of many. Standing at 6-foot-3, 230-pounds, his physical tools are well known. He’s more mobile than most at the position and has a strong arm. His competitiveness has never been in doubt despite playing for one of the country’s worst college football teams over the past few years.
There’s also the downside to the Husky. He’s an erratic passer and, because of his mobility and competitiveness, he’s been banged up more than you’d like for someone his age.
What about Ryan Mallet? Not many quarterbacks come in the form of a 6-foot-6, 238-pound gunslinger. He’s spent two years in the SEC – a conference everybody knows is among the best if not the best in terms of competition. In the conference, he’s not only shown that he can play, but play well. His completion percentage (67.3) has jumped roughly 12 percentage points in his second season at Arkansas and is approaching 70 percent.
He’s not all that mobile, though, but is that something you need from your quarterback?
How about a dark horse? Someone that can play with the best of them and that can be had with your pick or possibly a later one if you trade back a few spots and pick up an additional selection or two in the process?
Enter Cam Newton.
In his first year starting in the SEC, Newton’s put himself front and center among the nation’s top quarterbacks and has built a strong portfolio towards winning the Heisman Trophy. His completion percentage (68.2) is better than Mallet’s and, with 1,297 rushing yards on 6.3 yards per carry and 17 rushing touchdowns, is as much a threat on the ground as he is via the air.
With all the hype also comes a serious question mark.
The alleged pay-for-play recruitment scandal has dragged Auburn’s signal caller through the mud. Did he or people associated with him take money? Did he or people associated with him even ask for money? How will this situation affect his maturity and decision making on and off the field at the next level of the sport?
With the final seconds waning quicker than they should, you call together the team’s decision makers for one last go-over of opinions and the final decision is made.
Now all that is left is to turn in the card to the commissioner and welcome in the next generation of Seahawks football.
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