In the last game of the 2006 season, the Detroit Lions played the Dallas Cowboys in week 17 of the regular season.  Entering the game with two wins to their credit, all they had to do was lose and they would own the #1 overall pick, and be able to draft sure-fire, etched-in-stone first overall prospect, Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn.  Defying all odds, they went out and won, 39-31.  Announcers and analysts lamented the teams drive, and the fact that they would not have a crack at their quarterback of the future.

You can bet the Lions are OK with missing out on this.

As it turned, out they did.  Oakland, who secured the #1 pick, took JaMarcus Russel instead.  The Lions again defied all and took Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson.  You can bet no one is unhappy with either decision.  Johnson is a stud, and the franchise quarterback came a year later- and he’s much better than Brady Quinn.

In week 17 of the past season, the Seattle Seahawks faced a similar choice.  At 6-9, they played the 7-8  St Louis Rams at home, and with a win, they secured a spot in the playoffs- and at best, the #21 overall pick.  A loss and they picked #8, where they could draft someone to fill one of the numerous holes on their roster, presumably a quarterback.  Fans, commentators, analysts and more suggested they should just lose- after all, if they won, they were a joke, a laughingstock- the only playoff team ever with a losing record.  Wouldn’t you rather pick in the top 10?

After beating the Rams, Matt Hasslebeck posed the title question (the answer is ‘a doctor’).  The Seahawks were a playoff team, and proved they weren’t the ugly girl at the dance by beating the defending world champs.  Because of that, they pick at #25 overall instead of #8.  As the Lions before them, is that a bad thing?  I think not.

The Seahawks have plenty of needs (I’ll go more in depth in their Draft Needs post, but they are, in order of need: CB, SS, G, QB), all of which could certainly be filled at #8, but also can be filled at 25.  A few names that will likely be available at the tail of the first round: Florida guard Mike Pouncey (the top-rated guard in the draft), hometown-QB Jake Locker (the pre-season sure-fire #1 overall pick), Colorado CB Jimmy Smith and Texas CB Aaron Williams.  The highest rated safety, period, in the draft is Clemson’s DeAndre McDaniel, who probably will there for Seattle’s second round pick.  With the exception of LSU’s Patrick Peterson or Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara, I would be happy drafting any of those players pretty much anywhere in round one to fill a need.

Teams that succeed draft well, regardless of where they pick.  No team should apologize for winning, ever.  They should go into the draft expecting to win there, too.

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