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Tuesday cyber surfing: Everybody’s talking about the draft

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, April 24:

General manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll met with the media for a pre-draft Q&A session on Monday.

Marc Sessler at NFL.com passes along his five-pack of thoughts on what Carroll and Schneider had to say, including: “An initial observation: Carroll and Schneider are highly comfortable around each other. We’ve seen our share of prickly coach-GM pairings, but not here. More than once, they veered off topic into inside-joke territory, much like two friends at the bar, with Schneider at one point doing his Homer Simpson impression.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald looks at how the flexibility of the coaching staff has helped the Seahawks play younger players under Carroll: “ ‘We want to have enough flexibility to be able to embrace and encompass a guy’s uniqueness,’ Carroll said. ‘… We’re going to find a way to fit that guy in if we think he’s that special. You’ve seen it in really good examples — ‘Deuce’ (Thomas) and with Kam Chancellor. They couldn’t be on more opposite ends of the spectrum, physically, but both those guys are flourishing in our system because we’re asking them to do things that they can do. So if we said, ‘We want big safeties’ we would have never taken ‘Deuce’, and vice versa. I would like to think that’s a real strength of ours and it’s an openness to try and find a way to get a guy on our club that gives us something that other people can’t.’ So even though plenty of people have an idea of what needs the Seahawks have and what type of players they may be looking for to fill those needs, don’t be surprised if a pick or two leaves you wondering just how the Seahawks will make that player fit in. ‘We might surprise you a little bit with some of our thoughts in that regard,’ Carroll said.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune offers some of the newsier elements, starting with the injury status of just-acquired linebacker Barrett Ruud “Carroll told reporters during a pre-draft press conference Monday that Ruud is recovering from groin, knee and shoulder injuries suffered last season, but is expected to be fully healthy by training camp. Ruud played in only nine games in his only season with Tennessee last year, landing on the season-ending injured reserve with a groin injury. ‘He is working out, he’s doing a lot of stuff,’ Carroll said. ‘But we’re going to be very careful with him in bringing him back. He’s never been hurt before. This is the first year he’s ever had anything and he has three things that are bothering him, so he’s getting them all fixed.’ ”

Williams also looks at the offensive linemen and tight ends in this year’s draft class, focusing on Oregon tight end David Paulson who’s from Auburn: “Paulson is riding the wave of the proliferation of pass-catching tight ends playing a larger role in the league. ‘It helps because teams that have used the tight end are a little more versatile and have had some success with them,’ Paulson said. ‘And now other teams would like to do similar things, so I think I can fit into that role.’ ”

 
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times examines the Seahawks’ ongoing search for a younger quarterback: “ ‘Each guy’s kind of got his own individual makeup and niche,’ Carroll said. ‘It has been a challenge in that regard. They’re all unique, but we think that there’s really good players and there’s almost one for everybody.’ Even the Seahawks? They signed Matt Flynn to a three-year contract earlier this year, and they still have Tarvaris Jackson, whom Carroll said will compete for the starting spot. And don’t forget Josh Portis, who showed promise as an undrafted rookie last year. Would Seattle still be willing to pick a quarterback, even though there’s not an obvious vacancy on the depth chart? ‘Every year we’re after quarterbacks,’ Carroll said. ‘They’re such a rare commodity that we have to do everything we can to entertain the thought that if any one of those guys comes to us, what would we do?’ “

But Art Thiel at sportspress northwest advises against talking a QB too high, with the team having more pressing needs: “Didn’t they just fix quarterback with the free-agent signing of low-mileage, high-performance veteran Matt Flynn last month? Won’t they have a substantial backup in Tarvaris Jackson, who exceeded most expectations as the starter in 2011? Is it against the Carroll house rules to have on the roster a player more than one season removed from his training wheels? I know the circumstance is tough on Carroll. Here he is, in his third draft in Seattle, and he hasn’t taken a quarterback yet. And I’ll admit to some bias on the topic. I was around for the Seahawks selections in the 1990s of Rick Mirer, Dan McGwire and Kelly Stouffer, and I remember Ryan Leaf at Washington State. First rounders, all. Football Hindenburgs.”

The divisional bloggers at ESPN.com held a mock draft, and Mike Sando worked a trade for the Seahawks with the Patriots. So instead of picking No. 12 they drop to No. 27 and select Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones: “Trading back was the plan all along. Jones has the length Seattle covets in its players on defense (think Brandon Browner, Richard Sherman, K.J. Wright, Kam Chancellor, etc.). Jones also fills an obvious need for a pass-rushing defensive end. Trade details: Patriots sent 27 and 31 to Seattle for 12 and 106.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at coach Pete Carroll’s desire – and plan – to continue building a more competitive roster through the draft: “Pete Carroll would like to reach the point where it will be very difficult for a draft choice to crack the Seahawks’ starting lineup, or even earn playing time. But in his third year as coach, Carroll knows his team is not there yet as the Seahawks finalized their preparation for this year’s NFL Draft – with the first round set for Thursday night, rounds two and three being conducted on Friday and the process being completed Saturday with the final four rounds. ‘That’s what we’re hoping for – we want the roster so competitive that really good draft picks are fighting for play time,’ Carroll said Monday, when he and general manager John Schneider had a pre-draft Q&A session with reporters at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. ‘That means the guys ahead of them are better. That’s what John has been advocating since we got together – getting this roster young and competitive and we’d see the benefits of it.’ ”

We also check in with Ruud, as the players move into Week 2 of Phase 1 in the offseason program: “Ruud, 28, brings experience, familiarity with the scheme – he and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley were in Tampa together from 2006-08 – and proven productivity. He registered 100-plus tackles from 2007-10, averaging 128 over the four seasons. ‘The connection with Gus was very key to me coming here,’ said Ruud, a second-round draft choice by the Bucs in 2005. ‘Unfortunately, I was pretty banged up last year. So you kind of have to have somebody that vouches for you, has been around you a lot and knows how you can recover and how you prepare. So knowing Gus and Todd Wash (the Seahawks defensive line coach who also came from the Bucs), those guys know I work pretty hard to recover from things and they have confidence in me.’ ”

Peter King has a lot about a lot in his latest “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com, including: “One of the things you’re going to hear in the run-up to Thursday night’s first round of the draft is how badly the Jacksonville Jaguars want to trade down from No. 7, which is true. And last night, one of the stories hatching around the league was that Seattle would move from 12 to seven — ahead of Miami at eight — to pick Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. I think it’s unlikely, and not just because the Seahawks just bought a quarterback, Matt Flynn, in free agency, last month. Seattle doesn’t want to use up two of its three choices in the top 100 of a draft they like a lot for a quarterback they might be able to pick sitting at 12. Think of it: There’s one team that might take Tannehill between five and 11 — Miami at eight. Let’s say Seattle GM John Schneider feels there are multiple holes not at quarterback he needs to fill, and let’s say he had to throw in his third-round pick, 75th overall, to be able to draft Tannehill. That means, after taking a quarterback in free agency and budgeting $15.5 million over the next two years for Flynn, he’d have used the 12th and 75th picks to procure another quarterback. Knowing Schneider and his love of building the roster through the draft, I’m dubious. From what I heard over the weekend, the trade market up to seven is comatose, unless Jacksonville’s asking price is downright minuscule.”


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