As I start working on our 2009 NFL Draft preview, which begins on Sunday runs each day until draft day, I again talked to Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com about who he believes Seattle will select entering the final stretch before the draft.
Rang still sees the Seahawks selecting USC quarterback Mark Sanchez with the team's No. 4 overall pick to groom as an eventual replacement for Matt Hasselbeck.
However, Rang did point out the irony that he felt much more confident in who Seattle would select last year with the Seahawks picking late in the first-round, accurately predicting defensive end Lawrence Jackson, as opposed to this year with Seattle selecting No. 4 overall, but several possibilities still remaining.
"I still think that Aaron Curry is a possibility and Michael Crabtree is a possibility," Rang said. "And certainly if one of those two offensive tackles – Eugene Monroe from Virginia or Jason Smith from Baylor – if they're available, I think they have to be considerations as well."
But Rang still sees Seattle selecting Sanchez.
"If you take a quarterback at four -- whether it be Mark Sanchez, whether it be Matt Stafford or whether it be Josh Freeman in a trade back scenario – you have the opportunity to let the quarterback learn as the third quarterback," he said. "You've got Matt Hasselbeck, an established starter and Pro Bowl quarterback, and he can do what he does best, and that's play very well and win ball games. And then you've got Seneca Wallace, an established back-up quarterback.
"And then you let this rookie – and I know it's crazy with the money he's going to be making – but let this rookie learn as the third-string quarterback. Then he truly gets an opportunity to learn. You have to have a catastrophe with both quarterbacks getting hurt, that's the only way he gets on the field. So he truly gets an opportunity to learn. I don't think you have that same scenario next year."
Here's what Rang had to say about Curry
"He is I think the safest player in the draft," Rang said. "He is my personal, No. 1-rated player. He's NFL Draft Scout's No.1-rated player. I think he's the No. 1-rated player on some team's boards.
"But when you look at it, linebacker is no longer a position of value. Since the 2001 draft – and this is the point I tried to make in the article – there has only been one linebacker who has been taken before the ninth pick, and that was A.J. Hawk to the Green Bay Packers. And A.J. Hawk isn't really helping Aaron Curry's cause because he's been a marginal starter. He's been a solid player, but he hasn't been a standout.
"Aaron Curry I think has the ability to be a spectacular player, but just the fact that it's not considered a position of value anymore could drop him down the board. And the fact that I really think – and I know that I feel this way on my own film and because of the conversations I had with teams – that he doesn't necessarily translate that well to a 3-4 defense. I believe his best asset is to be able to work in space as a 4-3, outside linebacker, whether it's as a weak side or strong side linebacker."
Rang went on to say because Curry doesn't translate well to a 3-4 scheme that he might not be a good enough value for 3-4 teams like Kansas City and Cleveland to draft in the top five as an outside backer who would predominately rush the passer.