Seahawks Insider Blog

TNT draft preview: DL, LBs to consider

The Seahawks have picked a defensive end in each of the last four drafts, but only two remain on the team, Lawrence Jackson (first round, 2008) and Nick Reed (seventh round, 2009).

With the team’s inability to get consistent pressure on the quarterback for the past, two seasons, Seattle will likely select a defensive end for a fifth straight year.

The Seahawks have several options to choose from, as this year’s defensive line class is considered deep, both in edge rushers and guys who can push the pocket from inside.

Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan, who I profiled today, is considered the best of the bunch.

Morgan is considered an every-down defensive end who has polished, pass-rushing skills, but perhaps will not develop into an elite pass rusher.

However, Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff believes Morgan can generate enough speed to consistently create a pass rush off of the edge.

If Seattle selects a linebacker it will likely be much later in the draft. The linebackers’ unit for the Seahawks is considered the team’s strength on defense – and they are paid like it. Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill and Aaron Curry are scheduled to make a combined $12 million in base salary in 2010.

[caption id="attachment_6185" align="alignright" width="107" caption="Rob Rang, senior draft analyst, NFLDraftScout.com"] [/caption]Rob Rang’s defensive lineman to consider

Round Pick Name

1 (6) Gerald McCoy, 6-4, 295, Oklahoma

Rob's rationale: McCoy will almost surely be off the board, but if he were to slide, he’d be the perfect 3-technique to pair with natural nose guard Brandon Mebane. Highlights

1 (14) Derrick Morgan, 6-3, 266, Georgia Tech

Rob’s rationale: The ACC Defensive Player of the Year, he’d provide the pass rush the Seahawks are lacking. Highlights.

2 (60) Lamarr Houston, 6-3, 305, TexasRob's rationale: Like McCoy mentioned previously, Houston’s burst inside could give the team an interior pass rusher. Highlights.

4 (104, 127) Jermaine Cunningham, 6-4, 266, Florida

Rob's rationale: Overshadowed by teammates, Cunningham has burst off the edge, as evidenced by his 19.5 career sacks. Highlights

5 (133,139) Hall Davis, 6-4, 271, Louisiana-Lafayette

Rob's rationale: Rough around the edges, but has natural tools worthy of development.

6 (176) Earl Mitchell, 6-2, 296, Arizona

Rob's rationale: A former fullback with lots of athletic potential. Size limitations push him down the board. Highlights

7 (245) Malcolm Sheppard, 6-2, 285, Arkansas

Rob's rationale: A classic ‘tweener whose explosive first step can wreak havoc, but inability to hold up at the point limits his value. Highlights.

Linebackers to consider

Round Pick Name

1 (6, 14) Rolando McClain, 6-4, 249, Alabama

Rob's rationale: Seattle won’t draft McClain due to their own strength at the position, but he’s likely go in the top 15. Highlights.

2 (60) Eric Norwood, 6-1, 242, South Carolina

Rob's rationale: Former DE with natural pass rush skills could be a fit at Carroll’s “elephant” position. Highlights.

4 (104, 127) Donald Butler, 6-1, 245, Washington

Rob's rationale: Steve Sarkisian and Nick Holt rave about Butler’s upside and Carroll would surely trust their opinion. Highlights.

5 (133,139) A.J. Edds, 6-4, 246, IowaRob's rationale: A personal favorite. Savvy and more athletic than he’s given credit for being. Among the draft’s best coverage LBs. Combine Workout.

6 (176) Travis Goethel, 6-3, 240, Arizona State

Rob's rationale: Instinctive and passionate, Goethel would quickly emerge as a special teams demon. Combine workout.

7 (245) Kyle Bosworth, 6-1, 236, UCLA

Rob's rationale: Nephew of The Boz, he’s a proven and consistent standout from the Pac-10 that Carroll will know well. Combine workout.

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