Thursday cyber surfing: It’s all about the Combine

INDIANAPOLIS – Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Feb. 23:

The NFL Scouting Combine gets underway here today and Mike Sando at ESPN.com has a NFC West Primer, including this: “Seattle would love to snag a top-tier rusher in this draft, particularly if quarterback isn’t a viable option early. North Carolina’s Quinton Coples and South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram are two to watch. We’ll want to emerge from the combine with a better feel for which players might fit.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune expects the Seahawks to look at “other quarterbacks.” Says Williams: “(Coach Pete) Carroll has not selected a quarterback in his first two drafts with the Seahawks. Expect that to change this year. Seattle likely will not have an opportunity to move up to select either of the top two quarterbacks – Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. But expect the Seahawks to continue to take a close look at second-tier developmental prospects – such as Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M, Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins and Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the success that GM John Schneider and Carroll have had in the later rounds of their first two drafts: “So rather than focus entirely on who the Seahawks might take in the first round, it’s worth keeping an eye on those second- and third-day picks as well. ‘It’s just a focus on never feeling that you have all the answers,’ Schneider said of the ability to hit on later picks – and also find players after the draft like Doug Baldwin, the rookie free agent who led the team in receiving last season. ‘We have to approach these meetings like we’re trying to learn as much as we possibly can about each player, and prove one way or the other what type of player the guy is.’ ”

The Seahawks will have a coin flip with the Chiefs on Friday to determine who picks 11th and who’s 12th in the first round, and Bucky Brooks at NFL.com explains the importance of the exercise: “The flurry of activity will certainly alter the landscape of the draft with several top prospects poised to unexpectedly slide down the charts on draft day. This could put the Chiefs and Seahawks in a quandary when deciding whether to address a need, take the best player available or trade the pick at their selection. While both teams have several holes on their respective roster, the No. 11 pick has produced J.J Watt, Patrick Willis, Jay Cutler, Demarcus Ware and Ben Roethlisberger in recent years. Each was viewed as an elite talent prior to draft day, but unexpected moves at the top of the board led to their exclusion and their respective squads were able to land a Pro Bowl-caliber playmaker on the outskirts of the top 10. In studying this year’s class, Alabama’s Trent Richardson is the elite player who could unexpectedly slip outside of the top 10. The Browns are the only team at the top of the board with a glaring need at running back, but their quarterback concerns rank as a priority. Thus, Richardson could be a mercurial talent without a viable landing spot in the draft’s early stages. With the Seahawks, Chiefs and others in desperate need of more playmakers on offense, Richardson’s unexpected fall could lead to a surprising windfall on draft day.”

Pat Kirwan at CBSSports.com looks at how the Combine has changed over the years: “The original purpose of the combine was for clubs to save time and money to gather the medical information needed to make an intelligent draft decision. Players who had a red flag during the physical exam process were recalled to Indianapolis later in the spring for a recheck. As the late Dr. James Nicholas, a combine pioneer and former Jets team physician, told me when I interviewed him about the history of the event: ‘Players were sitting around waiting to take some phase of their comprehensive physical and a coach decided to put them through a few drills to see what kind of movement the player had, and the combine testing was born.’ “


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