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June 25, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Will Seahawks’ gamble with Michael pay off?


To true fans of a team, every draft pick is intriguing.

That said, one of the highest on the intrigue-o-meter for the Seahawks’ Class of 2013 is the first pick they had, running back Christine Michael (at right in a John Lok photo) taken in the second round.

Seattle seemed to have more pressing needs than another running back, with Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin already in the fold.

But the Seahawks under their current regime haven’t gotten where they have by holding to the conventional wisdom (exhibit A being the pick of Russell Wilson in the third round in 2012).

The Seahawks saw in the 5-10, 221-pounder from Texas A&M, a talent they figured they couldn’t pass up, even if it might not have been their highest priority, and despite the somewhat spotty end to Michael’s college career.

It’s way too early to know, of course, if the pick will prove to be as successful as others the Seahawks have made in recent  years, though there were some encouraging moments from Michael during the team’s OTAs and mini-camp — he showed the quickness the team spotted during evaluation and caught the ball well.

And count ESPN analyst Matt Williamson among those who thinks the relative gamble on the pick of Michael will pay off.

Williamson wrote this Insider piece this week taking a guess at who will be the top 10 running backs in the NFL in 2016. He rated Michael fifth after Cleveland’s Trent Richardson, Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy, Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin and San Francisco’s Marcus Lattimore.

Williamson wrote of Michael:

“The selection of Michael seemed like an odd one, but Marshawn Lynch, with his extremely violent running style, probably isn’t going to last long in this league. Michael is a first-round caliber talent, but has a lot of questions off the field. Expect Pete Carroll and company to harness Michael’s great talent by bringing him along slowly. By 2016, he will be a total stud and a true every-down running back. Ignoring their extenuating circumstances, Lattimore and Michael are the most talented all-around running backs from this latest draft class.”

Seattle will enter the pre-season without a lot of really key personnel  battles. Instead, it will be monitoring the progress of the bevy of young players on the roster like Michael that may prove most interesting through August.

The rest of ESPN’s Top 10 list? Giovani Bernard of Cincinnati, David Wilson of the Giants, Mark Ingram of the Saints, C.J. Spiller of the Bills and Jamaal Charles of the Chiefs.



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