(The opinions and analysis contained in this feature are those of the author and others credited and do not necessarily represent the thoughts and opinions of the Seahawks’ coaching staff and personnel department)
Who will take a chance on Marcus Lattimore in the NFL Draft, and when?
Those questions will be answered on April 26-27, when the final six rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft will be conducted. The draft begins on April 25 with the first round. Lattimore was once considered a first-round talent, but that was before the South Carolina running back tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in 2011 and then tore three ligaments in his right knee last October.
That’s how his numbers dipped from 1,197 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns as a freshman in 2010; to 818 and 10 in 2011; to 662 and 11 last season. And his draft stock has diminished along with his stats.
“I think he goes somewhere in the third round,” said Mike Mayock, draft analyst for the NFL Network. “If he was a late-one to mid-two when healthy, then I think the third round is fair for him because you’re probably going to get your most production starting two years out.”
Lattimore could not workout at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, but he did a Q&A session with the media. And even that was delayed because of the extensive medical testing he had to go through. Here are some of the highlights:
Q: Just how involved were the medical tests you had here?
A: “I was in there a good 3½, 4 hours. They’re investing a lot of money into you, so I understand the process, and why they have to make sure everything’s OK, everything’s progressing.”
Q: What does it mean to you to even be here after the injuries you’ve had the past two seasons?
A: “It’s a blessing to be here, no doubt. I would not take this opportunity for granted, that I get to be at the combine. Me and (Georgia wide receiver) Tavares King, we were just talking about it in our room last night – how blessed we are to be here. I just think about guys who are less fortunate than me, guys who would kill to be in my shoes, even with the injury. That’s what keeps me going, that’s what keeps me motivated, knowing that people would kill to be in my shoes right now.”
Q: Do you ever find yourself wondering what if?
A: “Yeah, I used to. The day after it happened, of course. I was thinking about what could have been, what could have happened, but I don’t think about that anymore. It happened for a reason. The reason for me to come back inspired a lot of people.”
Q: What has meant the most from the support you’ve received from fans?
A: “I got letters from all across the nation and South America and everywhere. The main thing they relayed to me was – they didn’t even talk about football – they just talked about what kind of person I was. It was an elementary school in Kentucky, they got on the field and made the ’21’ (his uniform number) with the whole school full of students, and that really touched me. They say that in the end, it’s not about football; it’s about the person you are. So that touched me.”
Q: Do you have any anxiety about getting hit again on the field?
A: “No, not at all. I mean, I’ve been hit 2,000 times, and that (an injury) happened twice. I’m not even thinking about it.”