Seahawks draft preview: DL/LBs to consider

Published on April 28, 2011 by     Tacoma News Tribune (Feed)

Here’s my story on the Seattle Seahawks issues at defensive line, completing our position-by-position analysis of this year’s draft.

Through the first part of the 2010 season, solid defensive line play was a plus for the Seahawks.

Seattle ranked second overall in rushing defense through six games, giving up an average of just over 76 yards a contest.

But when defensive end Red Bryant and defensive tackle Colin Cole went down with injuries against Oakland at midseason, the Seahawks failed to recover up front and the defense suffered.

The Seahawks allowed 239 rushing yards in a 33-3 pounding against the Raiders, and gave up an average of 144 yards a contest the rest of the season, going 3-7 down the stretch.

Bryant suffered a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee that required surgery, landing him on injured reserve for the rest of the season. Cole missed five games with a severe high ankle sprain. Add to that the four games defensive tackle Brandon Mebane missed because of an injured calf, and it’s clear why the Seahawks could be looking for defensive line help early in the draft.

Combined, Bryant, Cole and Mebane missed 18 games last season. And there’s no certainty that Mebane will return. The Cal product could be an unrestricted free agent this season, depending on what happens in the league’s labor dispute.

Some draft experts predict as many as 12 defensive linemen could go in the first round of this year’s NFL draft, which starts Thursday. That would be the most since 2003.

Rob Rang’s defensive lineman/linebackers to consider

1 (25) Muhammad Wilkerson, 6-4, 315, Temple

Rob’s rationale: An eerily similar prospect to the Seahawks’ Red Bryant, Wilkerson can rotate inside and out, providing the club with size, physicality, versatility and a high-running motor.

2 (57) Christian Ballard, 6-4, 283, Iowa

Rob’s rationale: More athletic than his more celebrated former line-mate Adrian Clayborn, Ballard could surprise in the NFL.

4(99) Pierre Allen, 6-4, 273, Nebraska

Rob’s rationale: While not an explosive pass rusher, Allen showed consistent improvement throughout his career and is productive against the run and pass.

5 (156,157) Greg Romeus, 6-5, 264, Pittsburgh

Rob’s rationale: Entered the year as one of the top DEs in the draft, but suffered injuries to his back, knee that ended his season prematurely. The Seahawks gambled on the recovery of CB Walter Thurmond last year and could double-down with Romeus, the 2010 Big East Defensive Player of the Year.

6 (173) Chris Neild, 6-2, 314, West Virginia

Rob’s rationale: Isn’t flashy, but a strong, tough interior defender who will carve out a niche in the NFL as run-stuffer.

7 (209, 242)) Lazarius Levingston, 6-4, 292, LSU

Rob’s rationale: Besides possessing one of the great names of the 2011 draft, Levingston’s size and athleticism is worthy of a 7th round gamble.

Linebackers to consider

1 (25) Akeem Ayers, 6-3, 254, UCLA

Rob’s rationale: While not an area of concern for the Seahawks, Ayers’ size, athleticism and versatility should get him drafted in the middle to late portion of the first round.

2 (57) Sam Acho, 6-2, 262, Texas

Rob’s rationale: A defensive end while at Texas, Acho’s natural pass rush skills and high intangibles is sure to pique the interest of creative defensive coordinators.

4(99) Mason Foster, 6-1, 245, Washington

Rob’s rationale: Likely to be drafted in the third round, Foster could present too much value for the Seahawks to pass up should he be available here. While not a spectacular athlete, his instincts, quick hands and reliable open field tackling make him one of the year’s safer traditional 4-3 linebackers.

5 (156,157) Mark Herzlich, 6-4, 244, Boston College

Rob’s rationale: One of the year’s most heart-warming stories, Herzlich defeated a rare form of bone cancer to return to the field. While he wasn’t the headlining playmaker this year he had been in the past, some believe he’ll return to his previously dominant level with time.

6 (173) Mike Mohammed, 6-3, 239, California

Rob’s rationale: Experienced and productive in the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, Mohammed’s athleticism and instincts could earn him a significantly higher draft day selection than my grade indicates.

7 (209, 242)) Jeremiha Hunter, 6-1, 239, Iowa

Rob’s rationale: Lacks the size and athleticism to warrant earlier round consideration, this instinctive and tough linebacker could carve a niche as a special teams performer and surprise when given an opportunity on defense.

via TNT 2011 draft preview: DL/LBs to consider | Seahawks Insider.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fair Use Notice This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and informational purposes. In most instances a link is placed to originator of Article and it is never expressly mentioned as written by, we use published by certain entities who write or publish for this said Blog..

Tell Us What's On Your Mind (0)




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

REMEMBERING A LEGEND!

LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS

140506udfa600

The Seahawks have been very good to rookie free agents

Despite having one of the best and deepest rosters in the NFL, the Seahawks have become a good ...
140505donald600

Where does Aaron Donald fit in first round of NFL Draft?

Aaron Donald did all the right things at the University of Pittsburgh, but the undersized defensive tackle needs ...
Untitled

Golden Tate Cheating With Russell Wilson’s Wife?

Some of you will read this post and say no way, but yes it's true and i have ...
140501clowney600

Mike Mayock can see Seahawks trading down in first round of NFL Draft

The Seahawks hold the last pick in the first round of next week’s NFL Draft, and analyst Mike ...
140502suafilo600

Do Seahawks have designs on building blocks in NFL Draft?

The Seahawks could go in just about any direction with the 32nd pick in the first round of ...
kveTl.AuSt.5

Family tragedies fuel Seahawks running back Robert Turbin

Sitting alone with both elbows on the table and hands folded, Robert Turbin waited. The Seattle Seahawks’ backup running ...
140430schneider600

This NFL draft is very different, but John Schneider’s approach isn’t

John Schneider has been involved in the NFL Draft for two decades and admits that he even dreamed ...
1c4jGw.AuSt.5

Earl Thomas reaches long-term extension with Seahawks

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network first reported Thomas’ extension. The extension will make Thomas the highest-paid safety in ...

Shop for Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII Champs Merchandise at NFLShop.com

Shop for Conference Champs and Super Bowl XLVIII Match Up Merchandise at NFLShop.com

WELCOME TO THE SEAHAWKS 12TH MAN ARMY.

WE TAKE PRIDE IN GIVING SEAHAWKS FANS AROUND THE CLOCK UPDATES,  ALL SEAHAWKS ALL THE TIME. SO IF YOU WANT THE LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS DELIVERED FOR FREE RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL BOX ONCE A WEEK, SIGN UP AND ENJOY!

WE HAVE BEEN PROUDLY SERVING DIEHARD SEAHAWKS FANS SINCE 2004.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz