THE CHEAP SEATS WITH STEVE CAMERON: With their first pick, the Seahawks select ...

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It’s bigger than the Super Bowl.

No, seriously.

The NFL draft, now a three-day extravaganza stretched out almost entirely for TV, is the most monstrous event out there for pro football junkies.

Why not?

Unless your favorite team advances to the Super Bowl, that day is about little more than nachos and cold ones with your pals.

Ah, but the draft means hope for everyone.

For this coming weekend, you’ll quickly recall Russell Wilson being chosen in the third round.

Or look, for instance, at Kansas City changing the NFL’s entire pecking order with the selection of Patrick Mahomes.

The Chiefs’ brain trust uniformly loved Mahomes, but doubted the Texas Tech QB would last until the 27th pick.

So Kansas City locked in a potential trade, waited tensely until nine players had been chosen, and then made that deal with Buffalo — grabbing Mahomes with their newly acquired 10th pick in the first round.

Which pretty much explains why the Bills are the Bills.

But the point is…

Miracles are waiting.

THE OTHER amazing thing about the draft is that everyone is entitled to an opinion, and sometimes those crazy guesses will turn out to be better ideas than the so-called “informed” decisions of various teams’ general managers.

For instance, fans…

Were the Seahawks wise to trade edge rusher Frank Clark to Kansas City for some additional draft picks, including another first-rounder this year?

After Seattle gave Wilson the richest deal in NFL history last week, GM John Schneider was asked over and over is there was money and cap space to satisfy Wilson and still hang on to key defenders Clark, Bobby Wagner and Jarran Reed — all of whom would be free agents after 2019.

“Challenging, but yes, it’s something we can figure out,” Schneider said, his nose growing longer like Pinocchio with each syllable.


The Seahawks knew that Clark would likely hold out unless he got a long-term deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million per year.

That’s why you can’t consider yourself a REAL supporter unless you’ve studied all the mock drafts that circulate for weeks and months ahead of time.


You think you’re smart enough to replace 13 1/2 sacks (Clark) with someone whose name hasn’t yet called in the draft.

It’s a great chance to match wits with Schneider and the Seahawks’ management, who actually have made it to a pair of Super Bowls this decade.

THE NFL fully understands this phenomenon.

When you look at all the would-be GMs who invest in fantasy football leagues, it’s kind of a no-brainer.

“I get it, people need to speculate this time of year,” Schneider said.

“Watched something this morning where everybody figured it out for us.”

Schneider, however, also offered a subtle reminder to all you cats in your man caves that he’s not exactly asleep.

Oh, and that he has does have a few more resources then you do.

“We take a lot of pride in having relationships through the league and understanding what’s going on as much as we possibly can,” he said.

By the way, if you’re trying to guess what the Seahawks will do between Thursday and the end of the draft, remember a couple of things.

First, Seattle loves volume in draft picks — no matter what round — and started this week with a league-low four.

So the Clark trade was almost a given, unloading a money puzzle and adding draft choices.

Second, the Seahawks are big on analytics, which form part of their own unusual way of evaluating prospects.

Please recall that several potential draftees have claimed that Seahawks scouts have engaged them in “staring contests” at the NFL combine.

FINALLY, I would lose my membership in the National Association of Annoying, Know-It-All Sports Columnists if I didn’t toss out my own mock draft for you today.

Well, at least for the Seahawks.

Doing the whole league would give me indigestion.

Therefore, my well-crafted opinion on Seattle — otherwise known as a wild stab in the dark — is that the Hawks have to take a wide receiver very early.

Yes, they want a rusher to replace Clark and a safety with Earl Thomas gone.

But Doug Baldwin’s health and/or possible retirement could leave Tyler Lockett as the lone productive receiver, and you have to believe they want at least one bigger target for Wilson to find when he’s being chased.

They can’t let Russell get killed out there, not with $157 million on the line.

Drumroll, please…

Seattle selects A.J. Brown of Mississippi, a real force at 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds.

Brown was impressive at the combine and really productive in college, with 160 catches for 2,572 yards and 17 touchdowns in his final two years.

Pete Carroll trusts himself to coach up lower draft picks in the secondary, so we think he’ll grab a ready-made target on offense — and thus the Seahawks will use their first pick on a receiver.

Feel free to email us, call me an idiot and include your own preferred selections.

After all, the draft is democracy in action.

Until Schneider speaks and it isn’t.

Steve Cameron’s “Cheap Seats” columns for The Press appear on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Steve also contributes the “Zags Tracker” package on Gonzaga basketball once monthly during the offseason.


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