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Not just another mock draft, but the Ultimate Mock Draft

Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch

Russell Wilson a Saint? Marshawn Lynch a Viking? Richard Sherman a Jet? Percy Harvin a Colt?

Say it ain’t so. OK, it’s not – thankfully. But that’s where four of the Seahawks’ best players ended up in Mike Silver’s annual Ultimate Mock Draft at YahooSports.com. And how does his exercise work?

“As always, we take the original draft order and allow each of the league’s 32 teams to select any human in his current physical condition,” Silver wrote. “Obviously, this is an imaginary exercise, though the sentiment behind the selections is absolutely authentic. Many of the league’s top talent evaluators and coaches helped me determine which players would be deemed most valuable in such a scenario. And this year, in some cases, the general manager (or another powerbroker) of the team in question was actually put on the clock before providing me with the hypothetical pick.”

Here’s the rational for how the Seahawks players ended up with other teams:

9. Jets — Richard Sherman, CB: Desperate to win in 2013, embattled coach Rex Ryan makes one, final plea for cornerback Darrelle Revis. Before he can finish the sentence, owner Woody Johnson shuts him down. New general manager John Idzik, formerly the Seahawks’ vice president of football administration, lobbies for Russell Wilson, who went from third-round draft pick to franchise quarterback in a matter of months last season. Johnson, however, pledges loyalty to Mark Sanchez, to whom the team must pay a guaranteed $100 billion dollars in 2013. (Yes, that’s a slight exaggeration. But it does allow me to link to Dr. Evil, so there’s that…) Ever the pragmatist, Johnson comes up with a solution: “How ’bout we take a cornerback and a Seahawk? Everybody wins…” Well, except Revis …

15. Saints — Russell Wilson, QB: The thought of Wilson, who showed exceptional poise and touch in his revelatory rookie season, teaming up with Sean Payton, who spent his year-long suspension conjuring cutting-edge plays the way Tupac summoned a surplus of brilliant rhymes in prison, is downright scary. Together, the preternaturally mature quarterback and the hyper-motivated coach could make beautiful music together in the Crescent City for the next decade. And given his experiences with (Drew) Brees, we know Payton has positive associations with short quarterbacks.

(And why would the Saints need Wilson? Because Silver has Brees going to the Browns at No. 6)

23. Vikings — Marshawn Lynch, RB: With the game’s preeminent running back gone, general manager Rick Spielman gives coach Leslie Frazier the next-best thing. Lynch, while not blessed with

Peterson’s breakaway speed, is a punishing runner who averaged five yards a carry while gaining 1,590 yards for a playoff team. If he can provoke seismic activity in Minneapolis, the man will truly become legendary.

(And why would the Vikings need Lynch? Because Silver has Adrian Peterson going to the Dolphins at No. 12)

24. Colts — Percy Harvin, WR: When the Seahawks traded picks in the first, third and seventh rounds  for Harvin last month, it illustrated just how valuable this shifty, explosive receiver is in league circles. Second-year general manager Ryan Grigson can’t resist selecting this game-wrecker with rare skills, though the move is not without risk. Harvin has a history of getting grumpy toward his employers and making his frustrations known, and the fact that the Vikings deemed such a talented weapon to be expendable tells you all you need to know. Then again, Grigson’s willing to take a chance. When you’re the reigning NFL executive of the year, you can afford to swing big.

Also in this mock, the Seahawks get to keep the 25th pick they traded for Harvin. Silver has them selecting …

25. Seahawks — Darnell Dockett, DT: General manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll, who like to groove out to reggae music in the war room, do some Burnin’ and Lootin‘ of their NFC West rivals’ defensive line. While Dockett had his issues in Arizona last December, incurring a $200,000 fine for conduct detrimental to the team, the confrontation with teammate Kerry Rhodes that got him in trouble spoke to the player’s competitiveness: Dockett vehemently disagreed with the coaches’ directive to let the Jets score on purpose. Carroll can live with that, especially given Dockett’s consistently disruptive and aggressive interior line play.


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John Moffitt, Men in Kilts raise $37,200 for Ronald McDonald House

The 2013 Men in Kilts campaign for the benefit of Ronald McDonald House charities of Western Washington and Alaska today announced they had raised $37,200 for housing seriously ill children and their families.

Offensive lineman John Moffitt donned the kilt for the Seahawks this year – his second time participating in the challenge where individuals could cast a vote for their favorite kilt-wearer. Moffitt brought home 42 votes at $25 per vote, good for $1,050 in donations to the Ronald McDonald House and 10th place out of the 12 kilt-competitors.

The 2013 “Kings of the Kilt” were announced last Sunday, as Mark Flieg, Cameron Pinard and Forrest Soderlind of the Bellevue video game developer Bungie raised the most money. Former Seattle Sounders FC forward Roger Levesque and current Sounders FC midfielder Brad Evans were also participants this year, earning 169 total votes and 3rd place in the competition.


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On this date: Lamar King is Mike Holmgren’s first draft choice

Lamar King

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on April 17:

1999: Defensive end Lamar King is selected in the first round of the first draft headed by Mike Holmgren, who had been hired in January and handed the title of executive vice president of football operations/general manager and head coach. If only King’s career had been that long, as he started 37 games over five seasons – highlighted by a 48-tackle, six-sack season in 2000.


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Dexter Davis waived

Dexter Davis

Defensive end Dexter Davis was waived by the Seahawks this afternoon, the team announced.

A seventh-round draft choice in 2010, Davis played in 15 games as a rookie and posted eight tackles and one sack on defense and six coverage tackles on special teams. But he injured a hip in the 2011 season opener and was placed on injured reserve. Slow to recover from the injury, Davis missed all of last season after going on IR in August.


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Nothing but net nets Matt Hasselbeck No. 8, Chandler Harnish $8,000

Matt Hasselbeck switched to No. 8 when he was acquired by the Seahawks in a 2001 trade with the Packers. He made the number his in 10 record-setting seasons in Seattle.

Hasselbeck continued to wear No. 8 the past two seasons with the Titans, who released him last month. But when Hasselbeck signed with the Colts after his release, backup QB Chandler Harnish had it.

Heavy emphasis on “had.” Hasselbeck said he would give Harnish $8,000 – and recoup his uniform number – if “Mr. Irrelavent” from last year’s NFL Draft could make a half-court shot. Harnish did just that, as you can see in the video above.

Matt Hasselbeck posted the photo below on his Instagram account, @hasselbeck:


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Jon Gruden on Russell Wilson: “He had the ‘it’ factor unlike any quarterback I’ve met”

Jon Gruden did a pre-draft conference call today in his role as an analyst for ESPN. But the former NFL coach and QB guru also was asked about a certain quarterback who was selected in last year’s draft: Russell Wilson.

What Gruden had to say about the Seahawks’ QB definitely is worth repeating.

Q: Last year when Russell Wilson was drafted by the Seahawks, your comments were pretty dead on. You said at the time, if they give this guy a chance, he’ll win the starting job. I wonder what a lot of people miss in Russell Wilson, if they missed it at all last year, and the fact that he fell to the third round and it reshaped the thinking of some of these guys?

Gruden: “I think last year Russell Wilson had the ‘it’ factor unlike any quarterback I’ve met. His intangibles weren’t excellent; they were off-the-chart excellent. He did it at two colleges within a year. I’ve never seen a man do what he did in NCAA football: Take the Wolfpack to a bowl game, transfer schools, become a team captain at another school and take his team to the Rose Bowl. Had it not been for three last‑second plays, they might have won the national title. Seventy-one percent completion percentage, mobility. I just thought he had it all. The thing he lacked was size. The only thing he needed was an opportunity. But I’m a guy, I guess, that’s made a living with middle-round draft choices. So I was a little bit partial to Russell Wilson. I’m very happy for him and his success.”

Q. Is there a Russell Wilson out there or anybody that compares in this year’s class?

Gruden: I don’t know if there’s another Russell Wilson. I think what he did as a rookie is unprecedented, really, for a third‑round draft choice. But as I said earlier, I really like this kid out of Syracuse. I like Ryan Nassib because he’s an athletic kid. He’s functioned in a couple of different offenses. What they did this year at Syracuse, changing their offense two weeks before the regular season, says a lot about this kid’s ability to adapt. … They were 2‑4 trailing Stony Brook College at halftime, and I thought he was really good at the end of games and helped Syracuse go to a bowl game. I just like his body of work at Syracuse.”


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A few moments with: Marcus Lattimore

Marcus Lattimore

(The opinions and analysis contained in this feature are those of the author and others credited and do not necessarily represent the thoughts and opinions of the Seahawks’ coaching staff and personnel department)

Who will take a chance on Marcus Lattimore in the NFL Draft, and when?

Those questions will be answered on April 26-27, when the final six rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft will be conducted. The draft begins on April 25 with the first round. Lattimore was once considered a first-round talent, but that was before the South Carolina running back tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in 2011 and then tore three ligaments in his right knee last October.

That’s how his numbers dipped from 1,197 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns as a freshman in 2010; to 818 and 10 in 2011; to 662 and 11 last season. And his draft stock has diminished along with his stats.

“I think he goes somewhere in the third round,” said Mike Mayock, draft analyst for the NFL Network. “If he was a late-one to mid-two when healthy, then I think the third round is fair for him because you’re probably going to get your most production starting two years out.”

Lattimore could not workout at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, but he did a Q&A session with the media. And even that was delayed because of the extensive medical testing he had to go through. Here are some of the highlights:

Q: Just how involved were the medical tests you had here?

A: “I was in there a good 3½, 4 hours. They’re investing a lot of money into you, so I understand the process, and why they have to make sure everything’s OK, everything’s progressing.”

Q: What does it mean to you to even be here after the injuries you’ve had the past two seasons?

A: “It’s a blessing to be here, no doubt. I would not take this opportunity for granted, that I get to be at the combine. Me and (Georgia wide receiver) Tavares King, we were just talking about it in our room last night – how blessed we are to be here. I just think about guys who are less fortunate than me, guys who would kill to be in my shoes, even with the injury. That’s what keeps me going, that’s what keeps me motivated, knowing that people would kill to be in my shoes right now.”

Q: Do you ever find yourself wondering what if?

A: “Yeah, I used to. The day after it happened, of course. I was thinking about what could have been, what could have happened, but I don’t think about that anymore. It happened for a reason. The reason for me to come back inspired a lot of people.”

Q: What has meant the most from the support you’ve received from fans?

A: “I got letters from all across the nation and South America and everywhere. The main thing they relayed to me was – they didn’t even talk about football – they just talked about what kind of person I was. It was an elementary school in Kentucky, they got on the field and made the ’21′ (his uniform number) with the whole school full of students, and that really touched me. They say that in the end, it’s not about football; it’s about the person you are. So that touched me.”

Q: Do you have any anxiety about getting hit again on the field?

A: “No, not at all. I mean, I’ve been hit 2,000 times, and that (an injury) happened twice. I’m not even thinking about it.”


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Limited time remains on Seahawks online auction to raise funds for autism

Ben's Fund

BID on Seahawks auction items

DONATE to Ben’s Fund

Seahawks general manager John Schneider and his wife Traci, whose son Ben was diagnosed with autism when he was three years old, launched Ben’s Fund in 2012 to provide grants to families to help cover costs associated with medical bills, therapies and other aspects of supporting a child, or children, on the autism spectrum.

On Thursday, April 18, the Schneider’s will host their second Prime Time celebrity waiter event in partnership with Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) at El Gaucho Bellevue. Players and coaches that will be in attendance include head coach Pete Carroll, assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable, strong safety Kam Chancellor, defensive ends Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril, tight end Zach Miller, wide receiver Golden Tate, quarterback Russell Wilson, former Seahawks fullback Mack Strong, and more.

The Prime Time event is sold out, but you can still join the Seahawks in the fight against autism by donating to Ben’s Fund, or by placing a bid on any of the Seahawks online auction items outlined below, where 100 percent of the proceeds are dedicated to Ben’s Fund.

Auction items are available for bid through Friday, April 19 and you can place your bid at primetime.seahawks.com.

Experiences

  • Family portrait with the Seahawks offensive line including Pro Bowlers T Russell Okung and C Max Unger
  • Seahawks CB Richard Sherman will “trash talk” one fantasy football opponent
  • Pre-fantasy football draft chat via phone with Sport’s Illustrated and NBC Sports Network Peter King

Autograph Items

  • Authentic 2012 Pro Bowl Jersey signed by Seahawks S Kam Chancellor
  • Authentic NFL Game Football signed by Seahawks DE Bruce Irvin
  • Full-Size Replica Seahawks Helmet signed by QB Russell Wilson

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NFL will announce 2013 schedule on Thursday

Marshawn Lynch

The NFL schedule for the 2013 season will be unveiled at 5 p.m. PT on Thursday, it was announced this morning.

The original release date was today, but the league postponed it. The schedule will be announced on the NFL Network as well as NFL.com.

So you’ll only have to wait a couple more days to find out how many nationally televised games the Seahawks will get. And when they will play the NFC West rival 49ers at CenturyLink Field and Candlestick Park. And when they will host the Saints in a rematch of that memorable wild-card playoff game after the 2010 season. And when they will play the Falcons in Atlanta in a rematch of last season’s divisional round playoff game. And when recently acquired receiver/runner/returner Percy Harvin will face his former team, the Vikings, at CenturyLink Field. And when former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley will bring his Jaguars to Seattle.

In case you’ve forgotten, here are the Seahawks’ home and away opponents:

Home game

49ers

Cardinals

Rams

Jaguars

Vikings

Saints

Buccaneers

Titans

Road games

49ers

Cardinals

Rams

Falcons

Panthers

Texans

Colts

Giants

Marc Sessler at NFL.com has more details on the schedule release.


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A few moments with: Matt Barkley

Matt Barkley, T.J. McDonald

(The opinions and analysis contained in this feature are those of the author and others credited and do not necessarily represent the thoughts and opinions of the Seahawks’ coaching staff and personnel department)

Matt Barkley is no stranger to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

It was Carroll who recruited Barkley to USC while coaching there, and Carroll who has admitted he had to play Barkley too soon when incumbent starting quarterback Mark Sanchez declared himself eligible for the 2009 NFL Draft following his junior season with the Trojans – and was the fifth pick overall by the Jets.

Barkley also flirted with an early entry into the NFL, but decided to return for his senior season – only to injure his passing shoulder in a late-season loss to UCLA that prevented him from playing in the Trojans’ bowl game and working out at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

“He’s a guy as a junior at USC who looked so much different than he did last year,” said Mike Mayock, draft analyst for the NFL Network. “I think to be fair to him, you have to go back and watch junior tape.”

That junior Matt Barkley completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,528 yards with 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The senior Matt Barkley had a lower completion percentage (.636), fewer passing yards (3,273) and touchdowns (36) and more interceptions (15).

Barkley spent a few moments with the media at the combine, and here are some highlights from his Q&A session:

Q: Pete Carroll has said that he almost felt guilty about having to play you as a freshman after Mark Sanchez left. Do you feel that early experience helped or hindered you?

A: “I definitely think it helped. It allowed me to grow up fairly quickly and face the fire. I learned a lot that freshman year. Had some great moments, and some not-so-great moments. Just that game experience, I think, helped lead into that sophomore year. I still remember things to this day about that (freshman) year in terms of game situations, handling adversity, that I brought with me to help me over my career.”

Q:  What lessons did you learn from Sanchez?

A: “I’ve known Mark. I didn’t play with him at USC; I came in right as he left. We’ve thrown in the offseason here and there. I stay in touch with him, a text during the season, periodically. He got kind of thrown (through) the gauntlet in New York. That kind of opened my eyes, seeing all these players go before me from USC, and even other programs – how they handled things, the great things that they did. … I’m sure they’ve learned from their mistakes, just like I’ve learned from my mistakes. Seeing these veterans in front of me, I’ve learned a lot on how to handle the media, how to handle being in a big market like New York, how to handle that locker-room environment.”

Q: What do you credit for the dip in your production last season?

A: “Every year is not going to be the same. Think about it: You can’t get better (statistically) every single year. It’s physically impossible to throw for more yards and more yards and more yards every year. There are going to be some years when it just doesn’t click and things don’t go as planned. This was just one of those years.”

Q: How would you answer the critics who say you don’t have an NFL-caliber arm?

A: “I would disagree. Look at the tape. Watch the tape. I’m not going to go through certain throws, but you can watch the tape where I’ve made throws in tight windows. I can make every NFL throw that you need. So I would disagree.”

Q: Do you feel you’re the best quarterback in this draft class?

A: “I believe I am. I don’t think you can go into the draft not thinking you are. I definitely believe I am, yes sir.”

 

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