The Seahawks are holding meetings this week to get ready for the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis (Feb. 23-March 1), which is the next big step in preparing for the NFL draft (April 28-30).
“The combine, to me, is phenomenal,” general manager John Schneider said. “Everything is a step in the process – from all the work our scouts do, to the all-star games, to the combine, to the Pro Day workouts, to the private workouts. But the combine is probably the biggest step.”
Who will the Seahawks select in the first round? That’s anyone guess at this point, especially because they hold the 25th pick overall but also because Schneider is not averse to trading back and acquiring additional picks.
But that hasn’t stopped just about everyone from having an opinion on who the Seahawks should select in the first round, as you can see from this assortment of mock drafts:
Sporting News (Feb. 10) – DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
No comment provided.
SI.com (Feb. 9) – QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
Don Banks: It’s nothing more than my solid hunch at this point, but Mallett has the kind of arm that intrigues NFL decision-makers, and his poor footwork can be improved on with steady coaching. I don’t get the feeling Pete Carroll is sold on Charlie Whitehurst as his team’s quarterback of the future, but Whitehurst would buy Mallett some time to develop.
NFLDraftScout.com (Feb. 7) – OG Mike Pouncey, Florida
Rob Rang: Should one of the upper-echelon quarterbacks fall to Seattle at this spot, the Seahawks would be wise to think about their future. Rather than panic if they aren’t however, the team can address its weakest link – interior offensive line play. Pouncey’s size, strength and agility would make him an immediate upgrade.
NFLDraftScout.com (Feb. 7) – DT Corey Liuget, Illinois
Chad Reuter: His Texas Bowl performance should convince scouts to bring his strength and quickness on board early in the draft.
Pro Football Weekly (Feb. 8) – QB Jake Locker, Washington
Nolan Nawrocki: Pete Carroll knows how competitive Locker is after the QB beat USC two years in a row.
WalterFootball.com (Feb. 10) – CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado
The Seahawks need some help with their atrocious pass defense, especially with Kelly Jennings heading for free agency this March.
Jimmy Smith is a player who’s probably going to keep moving up in my 2011 NFL Mock Draft. His stock is rising right now, and if he impresses at the Combine, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he goes as high as No. 13 to Detroit.
The FootballExpert.com (Feb. 4) – OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
Greg Cox: Quarterback is the elephant in the room. Pete Carroll certainly will explore the Jake Locker option and discuss it prior to the draft with Steve Sarkisian.
Some people seem to think that just because he is a hometown product he automatically goes there if available. Well, that’s not how the draft works. If it did Houston would have selected Vince Young.
They definitely need to figure out a plan at the position for this season and beyond. Maybe they can retain Matt Hasselbeck and squeeze another year out of him. A good way to do that is to shore up the offensive line.
Tom Cable was fired by the Raiders and quickly scooped up to coach their offensive line, which like another axed Oakland coach (Bill Callahan) he does very well.
After securing Russell Okung for the left side they might find a bookend here for the foreseeable future. Boston College churns out NFL linemen like they have an assembly line.
So, with all that said, who will the Seahawks actually select? Stay tuned, because that’s what the on-going meetings, post-combine meetings and pre-draft meetings will ultimately determine.