With Marshawn Lynch locked up and Matt Flynn signed to take over the Quarterback duties, it should be no surprise to watch the Seahawks focus heavily on defense in this draft. For starters the Seahawks need more help on the pass rush front, they only accumulated 33 sacks last season, and with Leroy Hill gone and more than likely David Hawthorn, they will need to re-stock the linebacker positions. Seattle has other needs that should be addressed as well, another receiver, more help on the offensive line, but defensive help is what Seattle should focus on. Here is a mock of what I would do if I were in the front office of Seattle, granted if these players are available.
Round 1: DE Whitney Mercilus, Illinois- The Seahawks are going to need to help on the defensive line. As a team they only accumulated 33 sacks last season, with Chris Clemons responsible for 11 of them. Mercilus may be a dangerous pick here, most mock drafts have him going late first round, and quite honestly Mercilus could be the biggest boom or bust first rounder of the draft, but the intangibles are to tempting to pass up here. 2011 was Mercilus only year as a starter, but he made it count leading the nation in sacks (16) forced fumbles (9), and second in tackles for a loss (22). On film Mercilus is very aggressive and has a non-stop moter. He is extremely quick and agile of the snap and has a variety of moves he can put on tackles to get to the quarterback. On film he is a relentless pursuer of both the ball carrier and the quarterback and does a nice job of sealing off the edge. His drawbacks are that he can be overly aggressive and tend to over-run plays, and big mauler types can out muscle him in the trenches. However, Seattle needs another end to compliment Clemons and provide much better pass rush than last year. With comparisons to former Illinois defensive end Simeon Rice, someone is going to take Mercilus in the first round in hopes that he can duplicate his one year of college production, it may as well be Seattle that reaps the potential benefits. If he is productive right out of the gate, it could change the whole dynamic of the Seattle defense.
Round 2: OLB Lavonte David, Nebraska- The three things you hear about the most from scouts when talking about David is that a.)he's a tackling machine b.)he has an outstanding work ethic, and c.)he's a little small for the position; which may cause David to slip in the second round and for the Seahawks taking. Leroy Hill is gone, and soon leading tackler David Hawthorne will more than likely follow suit, the Seahwaks are going to need to stock this position, and why not with a solid tackler. David was a JUCO transfer that ended up being a two year starter at Nebraska, in his first year he broke the school tackling record by posting 152, he has 285 in his collegiate career. David is extremely fast and has awesome instincts, and even though he is a little undersized (6'1 233lbs), he actively takes on blocks and meets the ball carriers head on. His most outstanding trait, is his ability to cover. He can cover both running backs and tight-ends, however he may give up a great deal of size to NFL tight-ends. Due to his coverage ability, scouts think that David would make an excellent nickel linebacker at the very least, or because of his size he may be better suited at strong safety. This is an excellent player with great football skills that will help improve any defense he is on.
Round 3: ILB Mychal Kendricks, California- Again, another pick here should be to re-stock the linebacking core. Kendricks was the Pac 12 defensive player of the year last year accumulating 106 tackles and 14.5 of them for a loss. He was a three year starter, two years at outside linebacker and last season his first in the middle for the 3-4 defense that Cal ran. Kendricks is a very powerful linebacker, which he showed at the combine by bench pressing 225 lbs 24 times, as well as fast, he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.47. When I watched some film on him, Kendricks is a guy that aggressively attacks the line of scrimmage and brings full force into both ball carriers and blockers. Why, would Seattle be able to snag him in the 3rd round? For one he's only 5'11, which is never the ideal height of the middle linebacker, but look at Zack Thomas. Secondly, there are character concerns as he was suspended twice last year for violating team rules. Kendricks is a smart and active linebacker, and with Seattle losing two, this would be a smart pick up.
Round 4: G Brandon Brooks, Miami (OH)- This is a project pick, but Brooks is ranked within the first 125 picks, and Seattle needs some offensive line help. Brooks is a big dude, 6'5 353, and is definitely a mauler type of guard. Very straight forward and very powerful in the running game. He has experience being a four year starter for the Red Hawks but there are little things that scouts are nit-picking. For one his weight needs to come down a bit, he was 290lbs when he enrolled as a freshman. He also has a bit of a mean streak, which has caused him to rack up some personal foul penalties. He was also not asked to do a lot of pulling or trap blocking, pretty much straight ahead. The only tape I could find on Brooks was during his pro-day, while working on a drill, he actually took a guy that was holding a blocking pad about 20 yards down the field and knocked him on his but, than walked away! With as much as Seattle likes to run the ball this may be a good fit for Brooks, with the right coaching and tweaking of the technique, he could slip into a starting role.
Round 6: WR Danny Coale, Virginia Tech- Coale may be one of the more overlooked receivers in the draft. He doesn't have phenomenal size standing at 6'0 and weighing 201lbs. He's also not one of the fastest receivers in the draft either. However, what Coale does, is produce. He was a very productive receiver all four years at VT and is second in school history with receptions (152) and receiving years (2,541). Coale is a scrappy guy that's a good route runner and is great at finding an open space. He's also not afraid to catch a ball in traffic and take a hit. The most amazing thing that I noticed about Coale, is that he is a catching machine. He has great hands and on more than once occasion has made spectacular one handed catches. The receiving corps in Seattle is not strong, Sidney Rice will more than likely end up on the DL sooner or later, and there is nobody else that is really a standout wide-out. Matt Flynn is going to need reliable guys that are going to catch the ball, Coale would be a nice fit here.
Round 7: DE Julian Miller, West Virginia- Miller had a very productive career as a four year starter at WV. Miller has not wowed scouts at all and state that he doesn't excel at any one category. However, on tape Miler shows great hustle, is able to play the run very soundly as defensive end, and does not give up on attempting to take down the quarterback. Miller has potential to be an every down lineman, and with this draft chalked full of great depth at the defensive line, it's fortunate for Seattle that he may very well drop into the seventh round. Clemons is getting a bit older, and one again Seattle could use help on the d-line. If anything Miller would make a great rotational guy to give Clemons or Mercilus (maybe) a breather.