Peter King of Sports Illustrated confirms what I’ve been hearing from people around the league about Iowa offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga. He’s all over the board, and could go as high as the No. 5 pick to Kansas City or fall all the way out of the first round.
King compares Bulaga to another Iowa product, Oakland’s Robert Gallery, and talks to Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz about the two. Bulaga likely will be available when Seattle selects at No. 6.
Gallery went number two overall, to Oakland, in 2004. He was a disappointment at left tackle, and eventually moved inside to guard, where he's been a good player. But not good enough to have merited the second pick in a draft, ahead of wideout Larry Fitzgerald and quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Roethlisberger, clear positions of need for the Raiders.
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Bulaga had a sub-par season in 2009, missing three games due to a thyroid condition and not regaining top form until Iowa's bowl game. A couple of scouts told me they're not sure he's even a first-round talent after watching Michigan's Brandon Graham abuse him on tape last fall.
“They’re pretty different in terms of profiles,” their coach, Kirk Ferentz, the former NFL line coach, told me Friday. “Bryan’s a third-year college player who didn’t redshirt and came out early. He came here and started at left guard as a freshman; I’ve told lots of the scouts that in my years of coach, there’re not many true freshmen who came in and played at a high level -- Mark Stepnoski and Bill Fralic at Pitt, and then Bryan would be in their class for how he played right away.
“Robert was a career tight end [in high school and his first year at Iowa] until we switched him to tackle midway through his second year here. He stayed five years. With Bryan, it’s so hard to judge him if you look at last year’s film, because he wasn’t allowed to do any physical conditioning for the three weeks he was out, and when he came back, he obviously wasn’t the same. Look at his ‘08 film. He dominated. And when he came back this year for our bowl game [against Georgia Tech], watch him when [first-round defensive end prospect] Derrick Morgan lined up against him. Bryan beat him.”
After taking his former boss to task for his firing in January, former Seahawks head coach Jim Mora has softened his stance, and says he will have lunch with Seahawks CEO Tod Lieweke today. Aaron Levine from KCPQ Ch.13 has the story in this video link.
“I’m a forgive and forget kind of guy, always have been,” Mora said. “That’s life in pro sports. Sometimes the wounds feel a little raw, but absolutely, great relationships...Tod and I will be pals forever, I imagine. You know, we climbed a mountain together, you know, it was a little fresh at the time.”
Danny O’Neil of he Seattle Times has a nice feature this morning on frequent contributor to the Seahawks Insider blog, Rob Rang, a senior draft analyst with NFLDraftScout.com. O’Neil notes that Rang predicted 28 or the 32 players selected in the first round (that number does not include predicting what team will select the player), showing is ability to gauge first-round talent.
Jim Moore of Seattlepi.com has a front row seat for the Sea Gals’ auditions.
Greg Johns of Seattlepi.com tries to predict how the draft will play out for Seattle.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that the Seattle Seahawks were the most aggressive team in the pursuit of Brandon Marshall, but the N.Y. Jets were willing to give up a first-round pick for him. Marshall and the Jets could not agree on financial terms, according to the report.
Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated lists offensive tackle Chris Campbell of Eastern Illinois and Nick McDonald, an offensive guard prospect at Grand Valley State as possible sleepers the Seahawks could be interested in.
Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post reports there is little interest in USC safety Taylor Mays.
Yahoo Sports Jason Cole and Tiki Barber discuss the draft needs of the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers in the video below.