Wednesday cyber surfing: It’s all about the draft, of course

Good morning on NFL Draft Eve. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, April 25:

Stop the presses (oops, showing my ink-stained-wretch roots). But Chad Reuter at NFL.com offers a mock draft of all 253 selections. Really. Here are his picks for the Seahawks:

First round: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina. “Improving the team’s pass rush is a priority, and Pete Carroll might momentarily suspend his penchant for long defenders to bring in a playmaker like Ingram.”

Second round: Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State. “A versatile player for a team in need of talent throughout the linebacker corps.”

Third round: Orson Charles, TE, Georgia. “Charles might not be the biggest TE, but Pete Carroll would love his competitiveness.”

Fourth round: George Iloka, S, Boise State. “Iloka meets the Seahawks’ size/speed requirements and would be a valued reserve/special teamer.”

Sixth round: Donnie Fletcher, CB, Boston College

Seventh round: Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois

Also at NFL.com, Ian Rapoport says John Schneider and the Seahawks might be sitting in the catbird seat entering Thursday night’s first round of the draft: “As far as John Schneider is concerned, he stands on the precipice. The Seahawks general manager views this year’s crop of players as having several tiers. “Little cut-offs or ledges,” he calls them. Based on the evaluations of the Seahawks staff, Schneider believes one ledge comes around the 12th or 13th selection, a separation between the elite and the really good. That’s why, with the 12th pick, Schneider thinks of himself as a man with his toes on the edge, ready to grab a big-time player or leap at a big-time trade. This is where he sees the draft turning. Teams could be scrambling to get up to 10, 11 or 12 to nab the slippers and sliders. Schneider is expecting activity either way. ‘We have to be prepared for other people to come to us,’ Schneider told NFL.com. ‘Either we have to be strong and just sit there and take a really cool player or be able to negotiate in a fast manner with a team trying to get up and just decide whether – say they give you two picks – if those two players would be worth the guy we’d be giving up.’ “

Eric Williams at the New Tribune looks at the safety position in the draft, even though the Seahawks have Pro Bowl tandem of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, who are entering their third seasons: “Although safety certainly isn’t a need position for Seattle, coach Pete Carroll said the team has considered every possible scenario for a player worthy of drafting at No. 12, which includes the availability of (Mark) Barron. ‘We’ve discussed every option and opportunity at great length, so we’ve already cleared our way through that decision,’ Carroll said. ‘You obviously can do it for the first 12 picks, and as you get farther down along, things change. At this position early in the draft and in the first round here, we’re going to get through every one of them, and we won’t be surprised by the opportunity that is presented.’ ”

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at the pass rushers, a position the Seahawks have yet to upgrade this offseason: “Quarterback is called the toughest job in football. Finding someone to tackle that quarterback is just as troublesome, though. In fact, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he thinks that specific talent might be even harder to locate. ‘The most difficult talent to find is pass rushers,’ Carroll said. ‘It’s why people try so hard and so often with guys early in the draft, trying to nail a pass rusher because they’re just so special.’ The Seahawks had better pack a lunch when they go to work this week because you know what they’re looking for in the NFL draft this Thursday? A pass rusher.”

Also from O’Neil, a look at the USC pipeline that has not exactly flowed from Carroll’s former team to his current team: “Seattle has selected two players Carroll recruited to USC, both in the final two rounds of the draft. The Seahawks chose tight end Anthony McCoy in the sixth round in 2010 and then linebacker Malcolm Smith in the seventh round last year. It’s not a lack of top-shelf talent that explains the lack of interest in other USC prospects. Over the past two years, the Trojans had seven players taken in the first three rounds of the draft. It’s just that none of them were chosen by the coach who recruited them to college. ‘It doesn’t always work to our advantage as you might think,’ Carroll said. ‘So often I’m tougher on those guys because I know them so well and I have their backgrounds.’ “

John Boyle at the Everett Herald also looks at the Seahawks’ search for a pass rusher: “The Seahawks did a lot of things well on defense in 2011 as, over the course of the season, they went from being a young, promising defense to one that was just plain good. But for everything that the Seahawks did do well defensively — finishing seventh in scoring defense and ninth in total defense — there is one area in particular that needs to get better, coach Pete Carroll said. ‘You never have enough pass rush, so it’s always important,’ Carroll said. ‘… We’re always looking. Certainly in this draft it’s one of the issues that we’d like to attend to.’ “

Sportspress northwest examines whether the Seahawks should draft a quarterback at No. 12, complete with a poll where you can offer your opinion: “Regardless of where (Ryan) Tannehill, (Kellen) Moore and (Russell) Wilson rank on pre-draft boards, the question is, Why would the Seahawks consider taking a quarterback when they already have (Matt) Flynn and (Tarvaris) Jackson in the house? Carroll answered that himself when the Seahawks awarded career two-game starter Flynn a three-year, $26 million deal: ‘We are always looking for a quarterback,’ he said.

Mike Sando at ESPN.com offers a scout’s take on where the Seahawks stand in the draft. Says Steve Muench of Scouts Inc.: “The Seahawks are in good shape, yes. The interesting thing about this draft is that Quinton Coles is going to drop. I think Coples or Chandler Jones would make sense for Seattle. The Seahawks are going to get an edge rusher and those guys are two of the bigger defensive ends/edge rushers in this class.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles previewing the draft with a look at the linebackers: “(Melvin) Ingram is just one of the mysteries in this year’s linebacker class, a group that includes ‘a number of attractive linebackers,’ as Seahawks general manager John Schneider put it. After Ingram, who is generally rated as the top player in this linebacker class, there’s Boston College middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, who plays a position where the Seahawks just lost leading tackler David Hawthorne in free agency; Boise State’s Shea McClellin, who like Ingram is an outside ’backer or rush-end depending who you ask; Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus, who also falls into that ’backer-or-end category; and Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower, a 265-pound thumper of a middle linebacker. When it comes time for linebacker-needy teams to make their picks, it will depend on which player is available and also which best fits their scheme.”

There’s also a closer look at the position and a Q&A with Luke Kuechly. We also continue our look at the best draft choices in franchise history with the fourth round.


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