The 2012 NFL Draft begins with the first round April 26, and the Seattle Seahawks have some specific needs that could be addressed. The buzz about what player will go where and when is dominating the talk of football fans everywhere.
While the mock draft runs can sometimes border on fanciful, it's still interesting to talk about what can be accomplished and who could help the team. By the end of last season, the Seahawks were becoming a different team with expectations of winning. The early shortcomings of the campaign and the dreadful losses that should have been wins were in the rear view mirror, and potential could be seen. Of course, there were also shortcomings.
The strategy for Seattle should be looking for players who will further the gains instead of considering a new direction. The strong run focus and swarming defense are what should be built on until a strong passing QB joins the team. Barring a surprise QB being available, the Seahawks most need help on the offensive line. If that can't be done, they should look for a pass rushing defender. Here's a look at some players who could deliver dividends to the Seahawks.
David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
If he's available, the Stanford guard would be my pick. The offensive line made big strides last year, but is still in need of shoring up, especially if the line sees the kind of injuries it did last year. DeCastro was a big factor in the success of Andrew Luck and the rest of the Cardinal offense. He has the ability to become a franchise player on a good line, and help to open up the strong run game designed around Marshawn Lynch.
Melvin Ingram, OLB/ DE, South Carolina
While I'm not completely sold on Ingram, he does fit the bill on paper for a strong pass rusher. I still think the Seahawks should look to bring in offensive line talent, but if that can't be done, Ingram could compliment the current defense with some pass rush speed. If he's there at no. 12 and DeCastro isn't, Ingram makes sense.
Some see Quinton Coples as a good choice as well, but I think the DE from North Carolina as another Aaron Curry type bust.
Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
The Seahawks do have a need at inside linebacker, and Keuchly would fit the bill. He's kind of the opposite of Coples. Keuchly plays up from his paper, while Coples is talked about as playing safe and has to be coaxed to go all-out.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
He's likely to be gone, but if he's available, or if a trade up could be accomplished, Tannehill is the kind of QB the Seahawks could build a future passing game on. The run game will be solid with Lynch taking the point, but building a pass attack is something the team will have to eventually do. The pickup of Green Bay QB Matt Flynn has taken the focus off of the QB need, but it's still there.
Another option to consider is for Seattle to trade out, and make a play for a good couple of choices farther down the draft. If there isn't a player who can absolutely fill an immediate Seahawks' need, trading out makes sense. A player doesn't have to be a high pick to contribute. No better example of that fact is out there than Seahawks' WR Doug Baldwin. Not even drafted, he had an incredible rookie year last season and has potential to become a great receiver.
Jeff Musall has been a fan of the Seattle Seahawks since he was a kid living in a small Idaho town, watching Jim Zorn lead the team down the field.