Thursday cyber surfing: Draft Day is finally here

Good morning, and Happy Draft Day. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, April 26:

Eric Williams at the News Tribune says the Seahawks could have to make the choice between versatility (Melvin Ingram) and uniqueness (Quinton Coples) with the 12th pick in today’s first round: “Uniqueness or versatility? That question piqued the interest of Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll when asked which trait his organization valued more heading into this evening’s NFL draft, which begins at 5 p.m. ‘Utility and versatility are huge for coaches,’ Carroll said. ‘Personnel guys see that one dynamic trait and they just want to jump all over it. That’s just been a personal experience. Sometimes you need to pull yourself back and say, ‘What’s the whole picture? What’s going to be his role? How can he fit in for us?’ And there are a lot of guys that have a uniqueness about them because of their versatility. Usually that one dynamic trait – while we all get excited about it – doesn’t carry over exactly to what the coaching staff needs.’ ” Applying Carroll’s assessment to the top pass rushers in this year’s draft, the Seahawks could have a tough decision to make if both North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples and South Carolina defensive end/linebacker Melvin Ingram are still on the board when the team selects today at No. 12.”
Also at the News Tribune, Dave Boling says GM John Schneider has his misses as well as his hits during his first two drafts with the Seahawks: “No GM would cop to his hits and misses after only two seasons, but we can make some general conclusions, and speculate on what Schneider sees as he re-evaluates his effort. Of the 18 Seahawks drafted in 2010 and 2011, 16 made the team, seven earned starting spots and two – safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor – earned Pro Bowl honors. Draft-involved trades brought the Seahawks running backs Marshawn Lynch and Leon Washington. Choices also were given up for little-used backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. In all, it’s a strong effort that has made the Seahawks one of the youngest teams in the league. But of those 16 draft picks to stick, seven of them finished last season on the injured-reserve list. And five of those were among picks taken in Rounds 1 through 4: Russell Okung, Walter Thurmond, James Carpenter, John Moffitt and Kris Durham.”

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times has his mock draft, and selects a different pass-rusher – Chandler Jones: “QB Ryan Tannehill would be an option if available, but Seattle showed last year it will follow its own evaluations as opposed to conventional wisdom.”

Speaking of Tannehill, Jerry Brewer at the Times has a suggestion: Don’t draft him. “If the Seahawks were left to choose between drafting raw Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill and burning the No. 12 overall pick in the NFL draft, I’d only have only one question standing in the way of my preference. Is that incinerator environmentally friendly? Well, this is Seattle, you know. Yes, it’s a ridiculous thought, but that’s how afraid I am that the Seahawks will break from two years of smart drafting and take a huge risk in selecting a player that they lust after, according to several reports. Considering that the bust potential is quite high for a quarterback who started only 19 collegiate games, not to mention that the Seahawks don’t need to spend a first-round pick on a QB after signing Matt Flynn in free agency, such a bold move would be as scary as it gets.”

O’Neil also wonders if the Seahawks might surprise everyone and go for offense with their first-round pick: “Why do the Seahawks have to get so darn defensive about their first-round pick in this year’s NFL draft? Coach Pete Carroll has clearly expressed his desire for a pass rusher, and the team’s need to add a linebacker is fairly obvious. But with the first round set to start Thursday at 5 p.m., and the Seahawks holding the 12th pick, it’s the offensive side of the football team that seems like it could use a boost. After all, Seattle ranked 28th out of 32 NFL teams in yards gained last season and went seven quarters without scoring a touchdown toward the end of October. Yes, the running game got better over the final eight games of the season, but Seattle still finished with the second-fewest passing yards in any of the past 10 seasons. Receiver Sidney Rice is coming off surgeries on each shoulder, while tight end Zach Miller had a career low in receptions. Seems like the offense could use a little more oomph, doesn’t it? ‘It’s hard to ever pass up a touchdown-maker, you know?’ Carroll said.

Pete Carroll was passing out clues to who the team will draft in movie clips yesterday – as he did with song titles in 2010. Nick Eaton at PI.com passes along the coach’s hints: “There are a few fairly obvious clues — for instance, in “Tommy Boy,” Chris Farley imitates Darth Vader by speaking “Luuuuuuuke” into an electric fan, leading me to think of Luke Kuechly. But, honestly, most of it is all going over my head.”

Mike Mayock at NFL.com gave the Seahawks Coples in his mock draft yesterday, here’s why: “He’s a boom-or-bust candidate. He had a big year as a junior at defensive tackle and got on everyone’s radar. But to me, Coples is not a first-round pick off his senior year of tape, when he was playing defensive end. I recognize his talent, though. He had a great Senior Bowl week and I think Pete Carroll can get the most out of him.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com looks at what it takes to make a trade in the first round of the draft: “NFC West teams hold the sixth, 12th, 13th and 30th overall choices in the 2012 NFL draft. The potential for trading those picks adds intrigue to the draft.”

Sando also weighs in on Mel Kiper Jr.’s mock-draft selection of Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones for the Seahawks: “Kiper will get no argument on this one. After all, Jones was the pick for Seattle during our recent ESPN Blogger Mock Draft, published Monday. In Kiper’s mock, the Seahawks take Jones when Melvin Ingram, Mark Barron, Stephon Gilmore, Quinton Coples and Whitney Mercilus were also options for teams looking to upgrade on defense. Scouts give Jones high marks for work ethic, physical potential and versatility. As Scouts Inc. put it, ‘Best fit will be as a LDE for a 4-3 scheme. Can develop into 5-technique if he continues to get stronger and learns proper technique. Has good core strength, room on frame, and long arms. … Has experience reducing inside to a three-technique on obvious passing situations, as well.’ Sounds like an outstanding fit for the Seahawks given their needs.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we conclude the positional looks in our draft series with the defensive backs: “So the Seahawks are set in the secondary, right? Well, not in (Pete) Carroll’s always-compete – and always-add-to-the-competition – world. When the Seahawks make the 12th pick in the first round, Alabama safety Mark Barron could be tempting; as would South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore if the Seahawks drop a few spots by trading out of No. 12. ‘We’ve discussed every option and opportunity at great length, so we’ve already cleared our way through the decision,’ Carroll said. ‘You obviously can do it for the first 12 picks, and as you get farther down things change. At this position early in the draft and in the first round here, we’re going to get through every one of them, and we won’t be surprised by the opportunity that is presented.’ ”

There’s also a closer look at the cornerbacks and safeties, a Q&A with Barron and look at the best third-round draft pick in franchise history.


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