Now that we’ve moved past that Super exercise which involved only two NFL teams, it’s time to start focusing on the drill that engulfs every team in the league – April’s NFL Draft.
Front-office execs and scouts around the league – including the Seahawks – are huddling this week in preparation for the NFL Scouting Combine, which will be held Feb. 20-26 in Indianapolis. So the mock drafts already are circulating in cyberspace.
The boys at NFLDraftScout.com – Rob Rang and Dane Brugler – have weighed in with their initial mocks at CBSSports.com. Rang listened to coach Pete Carroll when he talked during his season-ender media session about improving the Seahawks’ pass rush, so he has the team selecting Texas defensive end Alex Okafor with the 25th pick in the first round. Brugler, aware that Alan Branch is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, gives the Seahawks Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams at that spot.
Rang on Okafor: “The risky (and ridiculed) selection of undersized pass rusher Bruce Irvin paid off for as the former West Virginia standout led all rookies with eight sacks in 2012. His speed off the edge could be complemented with a more refined pass rusher like Okafor, whose greater length, strength and hand technique could make him a suitable complement as the team adjusts for life with top pass-rusher Chris Clemons recovering with a torn ACL.”
Brugler on Williams: “The Seahawks have one of the better defensive fronts in the NFC, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them add some depth, especially with Alan Branch slated to hit free agency in the winter. Williams lined up at nose tackle for the Tide, but has the ability to be productive in either and even or odd front.”
Don Banks at SI.com also has the Seahawks doing their first-round shopping in the Crimson Tide aisle, but on the other side of the ball with tackle D.J. Fluker: “The Seahawks could easily take the best available receiver in this slot (Baylor’s Terrance Williams, Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins or USC’s Robert Woods), and fill a need. But Fluker might earn too high a grade to pass on. Seattle’s offensive line was superb in 2012, but Breno Giacomini is hardly irreplaceable at right tackle. Fluker is seen as a natural right tackle in the NFL and his massive 6-4, 355-pound size and impressive wingspan could solidify the position for the foreseeable future.”
At NFL.com, a trio of mock drafts veers back to the D-line for the Seahawks, with Bucky Brooks going for LSU end Sam Montgomery, Daniel Jeremiah tabbing Ohio State tackle Johnathan Hawkins and Charles Davis opting for BYU end Ezekiel Ansah.