Latest mocks: Pick six

The first round of the NFL Draft will be conducted on Thursday, and who the Seahawks select with the 25th pick overall is anyone’s guess.

That is abundantly apparent in this latest round of mock drafts. Six mocks, six different players projected for the Seahawks – at five different positions. From University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker, to Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith, to TCU QB Andy Dalton, to North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin, to Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod, to Baylor lineman Danny Watkins.

What’s it all mean? The Seahawks could end up with any of these players. Or, none of them. That’s the draft, especially when you’re selecting that late in the first round and so many things can happen in the first 24 picks to impact who will be available.

But it’s fun to mock-watch, so here goes (click on the mocker’s name for his complete first round) …

Rob Rang, (April 25): CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado

The Seahawks gave up 31 touchdown passes last season, tied for third-worst in the NFL. Veteran Marcus Trufant is due $5.8 million for 2011 and has struggled with injury and consistency the past two seasons. Seattle’s other starter, Kelly Jennings, is a free agent and at 5-11, 180, isn’t an ideal fit in the Seahawks’ press scheme. Smith, on the other hand, at 6-2, 211, is an ideal fit. His character concerns will scare off many teams, but under general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks have shown a willingness to gamble.

 Chad Reuters, (April 25): QB Jake Locker, Washington

The Seahawks start Charlie Whitehurst in 2011, allowing Locker to work on his comfort and accuracy from the pocket.

Don Banks, (April 14): QB Andy Dalton, TCU

I’m not budging off my mock 4.0 belief that the Seahawks are strongly considering Dalton, who is gaining more fans within NFL scouting circles as this long pre-draft season unfolds. Dalton, Locker and (Florida State’s Christian) Ponder seem to be in competition to be the third quarterback selected, but it’s the steady and experienced Dalton who is now view as the most NFL-ready of all.

Peter King, Sports Illustrated (April 21): DT Marvin Austin, North Carolina

No team wants to trade down more than Seattle, which has seven big holes to fill, including two at guard and one at tackle, and that’s before we even get to quarterback. The Seahawks will probably lose Matt Hasselbeck to free agency, but I don’t see then taking a passer in the first two rounds unless they trade down. They’re willing to go with Charlie Whitehurst and a vet in ’11, while Austin, a penetrating DT, fortifies another need position.

Todd McShay, (April 20): OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi

Scenario 1: Sherrod is a technician who works well on the move and is always in good position, and he is a good fit for Seattle’s version of the West Coast offense.

Scenario 2: The Seahawks could look to trade back and gain extra picks (they currently lack a third-rounder) as they try to rebuild a roster that did not see a Pro Bowler drafted from 2006 to ’09. If they do trade back, quarterbacks like Dalton or Florida State’s Christian Ponder would be likely targets.

Scenario 3: There are rumors floating around about Locker and Mallett, but if Seattle does go for a quarterback, Dalton seems like the better fit.

Note: McShay’s complete mock is available only with insider access.

Clare Farnsworth, Pro Football Weekly correspondents (April 22): OG Danny Watkins, Baylor

The first thing GM John Schneider will try to do – and wants to do – is trade back. If he can’t, and with (DT Corey) Liuget, (OL Mike) Pouncey and Smith off the board, the Seahawks look to upgrade the interior of their O-line with an older (26) but still-ascending player.

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