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Your Mock Draft Is Worthless!! (Blame Shaun Alexander)

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The Seattle Seahawks released RB Shaun Alexander last night, kicking the greatest RB in team history out to the curb.  This came only two years after signing him to a massive $68 million contract.  Good planning on that.

The Seahawks will go with a fantasy-maddening RB committee of Maurice Morris, TJ Duckett and Julius Jones this season but that's something to cover later on.  The immediate impact of this move is that you can tear up your NFL Mock Drafts and start over.  One team is going to get  Alexander into their facility, give him a medical check, and sign him to a contract -- probably before this weekend's draft.

Among mock drafters, Detroit, Houston, and Dallas are popular choices to take a running back in the first round.  

  • Detroit would be (or should be) happy to put Tatum Bell back on the bench and have a proven veteran like Alexander on the field.  
  • Houston has nobody running the ball right now but they have a lot of other needs as well.  Alexander would be a cheap way to address their running back problems and still allow the Texans to take a stud offensive lineman or cornerback in the first round.  
  • While it's difficult to guess what Jerry Jones will do on draft day, a Marion Barber / Shaun Alexander committee would be an big upgrade over last season's Barber/Julius Jones combo.  Dallas could sign Alexander, draft a stud WR like Devin Thomas in the first round and have a team significantly better than last season -- if you can believe that.
And of course, the draft dominos would fall if any of these teams suddenly don't need a RB.  Pittsburgh doesn't need an RB, but could they take a chance on a monstrous Jonathan Stewart to pound the ball into the end zone from five yards out?  Could Washington move to a "Thunder and Lightning" running back committee if Rashard Mendenhall just dropped in their laps?  

This might sound like I'm making up fantasy football draft fantasies, but things like this happen all the time in the NFL Draft.  The Saints drafted Reggie Bush when they had a perfectly good RB in Deuce McAllister.  Adrian Peterson was too good for the Vikings to pass up even though Chester Taylor was no slouch.  The Lions took wide receivers each year for .....ok, don't use the Lions as an example.

The point is that the Alexander release is going to mean that one team in the NFL no longer needs a running back in the draft, at least not as desperately as they did.  This is just another reason I love the NFL Draft.