With the top college seniors competing in the annual Senior Bowl this Saturday, for the first time in several years Seattle's coaching staff will have a chance to focus on the cream of the crop.
The Seahawks haven't drafted in the Top 10 since picking receiver Koren Robinson with the ninth overall choice in the 2001 draft, so Seattle team president and general manager Tim Ruskell said the team's scouting department is looking forward to an opportunity to evaluate the top athletes.
"It really invigorates the scouts," Ruskell said. "So many times they like to scout the top players because they are the ones making all the plays and are on ESPN. We usually say, 'Let's forget about those guys,' and give them a list of guys we wanted them to concentrate on.
"But it invigorates the personnel staff and makes us work harder to know everything because the stakes are higher and the dollars are higher."
The Seahawks scouting staff will be searching for diamonds in the rough too, along with new head coach Jim Mora and his recently formed coaching staff. The group will spend the week in Mobile, Ala. evaluating players in anticipation of April's NFL draft.
About 100 players will participate in the event, practicing through Thursday and then playing on Saturday at 4 p.m. The game will be televised by the NFL Network.
The Seahawks, with the No. 4 pick overall, actually had a chance to coach one of the teams but declined. The opportunity to coach either the North or the South squad is generally extended to the top two teams in the draft – an invitation that is handed down the draft until two teams accept.
Top prospects expected to compete at the Senior Bowl this weekend include Mississippi offensive tackle Michael Oher, USC linebackers Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing, Missouri safety William Moore and Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji.
The NFL Network is running daily reports on each day's practice session. They're worth a look. I think they replay the last one at 9:30 p.m. tonight.
Todd McShay of Scouts.Inc provides a pretty good overview of the storylines to look for in this week's Senior Bowl festivities.
Here's a few other links.
The NFL Network's Mike Mayock lists his Top 20 senior prospects in the NFL Draft.
Rob Rang of nfldraftscout.com talks NFL draft with ESPN's John Clayton in this audio link.
Scroll down a little after clicking this link and check out KCPQ CH. 13's Aaron Levine taking Seattle coach Jim Mora's invitation to climb Tiger Mountain.
New Seahawks defensive coordinator Casey Bradley talks to his hometown paper about his new job.
Marcus Trufant's younger brother, Desmond, a senior defensive back at Wilson High in Tacoma, committed to the University of Washington. Should make for some interesting Apple Cup conversation in the Trufant family come November, with Marcus a WSU product.