BY Howie Stalwick 06:30AM 02/07/2015

ESPN draft expert suggests Lynch replacement

NFL draft expert Todd McShay thinks highly of the Pac-12 Conference in general and the Washington Huskies in particular this year, and also writes that the Seahawks would be wise to use their first-round pick on a potential replacement for RB Marshawn Lynch.

McShay’s latest mock draft, released this week, projects Huskies NT Danny Shelton and fired CB Marcus Peters among five Pac-12 products going in the first round April 30. The Seahawks pick 31st in the first round, and McShay advises Seattle to take Georgia RB Todd Gurley.

“It’s been rumored recently that the Seahawks could sign Marshawn Lynch to a long-term deal this offseason (he’s entering the final year of his contract), but I’ll believe that when I see it,” McShay wrote on

“If Lynch isn’t with Seattle beyond the 2015 season, Gurley is a perfect replacement. He was a top-15 talent in this class prior to tearing his ACL this season, a powerful downhill runner who also has excellent speed — the best NFL comparison I can come up with for Gurley is Lynch.

“The Seahawks would have to be comfortable with his health situation, but he could be an ideal successor to Lynch. They could also look to address the offensive or defensive line (in the first round).”

McShay predicts Shelton will be selected seventh overall by Chicago.

“Shelton would provide a versatile, big body along the interior,” McShay wrote, “as he commands double-teams against the run and can push the pocket as a pass-rusher. (Oregon defensive end) Arik Armstead is another option here.”

Peters, who was kicked off the Huskies squad for disciplinary reasons, is pegged by McShay to go 22nd overall to Pittsburgh.

“Based purely off of game tape, Peters is the best all-around cornerback in this class,” McShay wrote. “He has a good combination of instincts, cover skills, toughness and ball skills (11 interceptions the past three seasons). But Pittsburgh will have to feel comfortable with his character before drafting him.”

McShay’s projected No. 1 pick, by Tampa Bay, is Florida State QB Jameis Winston. USC DE Leonard Williams would go second to Tennessee. Regarding other Pac-12 rivals of Williams, McShay sees Oregon QB Marcus Mariota going sixth to the New York Jets, Armstead eighth to Atlanta and Stanford OT Andrus Peat heading to Houston at No. 16.

Huskies linebackers Hau’oli Kikaha and Shaq Thompson are projected as second-round picks on ESPN’s extended list of draft prospects, based on NFL potential. Kikaha is ranked 53rd, Thompson 57th, Shelton eighth and Peters 18th. Washington State’s top prospects are WR Vince Mayle (No. 130) and DT Xavier Cooper (No. 272).



  • Chawks1!

    Gurley would be the perfect first pick for us! I believe Lynch will be gone after 1-2 more seasons. And it would allow Gurley time to get stronger and adjust to the pro game. He also can return kickoffs, which we need until Richardson is ready to go.

  • RadioGuy

    Whether he stays or leaves, Lynch will have to be replaced someday. What encourages me about the Hawks’ ability to do it eventually (neither Turbin nor Michael appear up to it) is that they put as much effort into making the right pick in the seventh round as they do in the first. The results for that pretty much prove it works when done right. Marshawn is a singular talent, but so was Shannon Sharpe when the Broncos took a chance on him…in the ninth round.

    You’re not just picking one player in the draft and both PC and Schneider take the total approach to it.

  • rosetta_stoned

    I’d pay more attention to the opinions of these draft gurus if they were actually hired by an NFL team instead of just bloviating on TV.

    • RadioGuy

      But what would Mel Kiper Jr. do for a living if people stopped paying attention to him? And, more important, what would happen to his hair? I don’t give credence to guys like Kiper, McShay or Rang because they’re wrong SO OFTEN. Even Jeff Renner gets the weather right with more regularity (must be the yellow jacket).

      And Shaq Thompson a second rounder? Ridiculous. He’s a game-changer on both sides of the line and he’s been doing it in the PAC 12…this isn’t Gordie Lockbaum we’re talking about. Some GM will recognize Shaq’s combination of sheer physical talent and instinct for the game. He’s a weapon in a lot of ways.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    With the stunning season Alexander had in 2005 most of us were naive enough to believe he had 3 or 4 of those seasons left in him. The age thing could happen at any time with the feoricity in which Marshawn runs so it would behoove the Seahawks to prepare as if replacement is a stones throw away.
    It is pure joy to watch Lynch fight for every available yard. If he were a construction worker they would point to him as the employee consistently churning out the most production. He is the epitomee of a workhorse. But all workhorses have a put out to pasture date. His will probably be sooner than later so as this article alludes to looking to the future…is a necessary evil.Stay strong #24. Go Hawks.

    • John M

      If Lynch had the line Alexander had he’d be getting 5 touchdowns a game . . .

  • Tman

    Turbin looked great to me on the few runs and catches I had the chance to see..Pretty much unstoppable..hard to bring down. Shortest gain I remember (only saw 3 or 4 Turbin plays) was 3 yards. Why is he not getting more playing time/consideration?

    • John M

      Because Lynch wouldn’t like it. Running by committee only works up to a point, you have to have a designated #1. . .

  • jafabian

    I think the Hawks have a couple more than capable replacements already with Michael and Turbin. They just don’t get the chance to prove it because Lynch is so good. Also think Shaq will be a low first round pick but I believe Peters stock has dropped. Even when he played this season he didn’t have an outstanding game at any point. High third rounder.

    • John M

      I also think Shaq could go in the first, he’s such a versatile talent. But really, I’d like to see 2 of the Hawks first 4 picks on O-linemen . . .

  • notaboomer

    isn’t jameis winston too much of a rapist to play pro? or is that what the nfl values these days?

  • Eric

    there is no replacement for Marshawn Lynch.

    • John M

      Except for Murray – oh, he’s already got a job . . .