Watching CB Richard Sherman play it's hard to think back to the 2011 draft and wonder "what if?". We drafted FS Robert Sands 20 picks earlier. Sands never played a single down with the club and was released earlier this year. Our CB depth that year included Leon Hall (who went down with a major injury in Nov 11), Nate Clements, Adam Jones, Brandon Ghee and Kelly Jennings (who was acquired via trade with Seattle prior to the start of the 2011 regular season). So cornerback was clearly an area of need. Sands had Reggie Nelson and Gibril Wilson ahead of him.
Sherman wasn't rated very highly in the draft (27th CB, 213th overall) but he had great size (6025), speed (4.49) and explosion (38" VJ, 11" BJ). He began his collegiate career as a WR and then moved to defense his senior year. In his final season at Stanford he had 4 INTs and 2 FFs. He even returned punts one year with a 10.3 yard average. So he didn't have the full resume but certainly flashed some of the quickness and ball skills that are obvious right now.
Since entering the NFL in 2011 no one has more INTs. He would have been the perfect CB in Mike Zimmer's system. Too bad the Bengals couldn't have recognized that a few years ago.
Taking this another step further: Sherman would have meant no Kirkpatrick in the 2012 draft opening up other options. DE Chandler Jones would have been interesting. It would have allowed the team to let MJ93 leave via free agency (and probably netting the team a 3rd round comp pick for 2013 plus giving more cap room for other signings).
Anyway, can't go back in time but still interesting to think about what could have been...