Edit: Seattle signed Cliff Avril while I was compiling this, which pretty much proves my point about wanting to address DE in FA. I had us signing Abraham, but this works too.
Note: (I would sign John Abraham in free agency as a 1 year stopgap for LEO). In order to mix things up, I will not include Ryan Swope, John Simon, or Armonty Bryant in this version- although I would surely draft all of them if I had the chance. In fact I'm going to try to go with mostly new names in this one, so expect a few surprises:
2nd round: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
3rd round: Menelik Watson, T, FSU
4th round: Lavar Edwards, DE/DT, LSU
5th round: Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa
5th round: Mark Harrison, WR, Rutgers
6th round: Denard Robinson, RB/WR/KR, Michigan
7th round: Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
7th round: Courtney Gardner, WR, Sierra
Quinton Dial, DE, Alabama
Jordan Rogers, QB, Vanderbilt
Cooper Taylor, S, Richmond
Abry Jones, DT, Georgia
Brandon Hepburn, LB, Florida A&M
Zach Ertz really hurt his stock at the combine with some worrisome measurements and an unremarkable performance. He still has some of the very best tape of the TEs in this draft, and he has the kind of well rounded skillset Seattle could really go for. He's a steal at the end of round 2, and I think there is a substantial chance he will fall into the late 2nd range. His acquisition also gives Seattle the insurance policy they need if they want to approach Zach Miller with a restructure attempt.
Menelik Watson was initially tabbed as a mid round pick before a wave of hype over his athleticism put him in the late 1st round discussion. Then he pretty much tanked his combine, with a series of athletic performances that were shockingly below average. Watson is new to football and was really banking on his athleticism to carry his stock. Post combine- I think he is probably back in the round 3 or 4 range, but we'll see. I think he's impressive enough on tape athletically that I'd happily pull the trigger on him in the late 3rd as a high upside prospect.
While I am personally a fan of Breno Giacomini, he is a free agent after this season. So is Paul McQuistan. Will Seattle pay $$$ to keep them around while they have to pay players like Browner, Thurmond, Baldwin, and Chancellor? They may decide against it. That might explain why there is a rumor out there suggesting they like tackle Jordan Mills earlier than you'd expect.
Lavar Edwards played defensive end for LSU, but his size (6'4", 277), length (35.5" arms), 40 time (4.80), and athleticism are highly reminiscent of Jason Jones. This is a blind pick- because I have no idea how Edwards would translate inside. He might dominate, or he might flounder. He has the measurables of an elite DT/DE hybrid though, and while his tape doesn't blow you away, he plays the run well and plays with high effort. I would expect Edwards to be pretty high on Seattle's draft board, but I would be patient and wait til round four to get him. He probably won't be our savior in 2013, but he's an interesting option with good upside.
Micah Hyde is a well rounded, highly under-rated CB who will slip in this draft due to there being a ton of corners running in the 4.4s. Hyde ran a 4.56, about the same time that Richard Sherman had. Not many NFL teams use slower CBs, but Seattle does. This is a proactive pick since Thurmond, Browner, and Chancellor will all be free agents next season.
Mark Harrison is one of the better tall receivers in this draft. He runs in the 4.4s at 6'3", 231 pounds (Andre Johnson type measurements). Harrison is not a project either- he has pretty good tape and can really accelerate after the catch. He was overshadowed by Mohamed Sanu and Brandon Coleman the last couple years, but when they leaned on him in the past he was an explosive deep threat receiver. You can read more on Harrison here. Seattle still needs a 2nd big receiver as Sidney Rice insurance, the same role that TO and Edwards were brought in for last year.
I see Denard Robinson as more of a RB than WR, and with Leon Washington gone Seattle has openings both at WR and RB. Robinson is mildly redundant with Percy Harvin on board, but I just can't say no to a player with Robinson's physical talent in the 6th round. Robinson runs one of the smoothest and shiftiest 4.43 forties you will see. He is a natural runner and I think you could fit him in a Leon Washington type role and not lose much. If he turns into a Percy Harvin type WR down the road, that's a nice bonus as well.
Does Knile Davis last this long after a 4.37 forty? He probably shouldn't, but he might. That's how rough his last two college seasons were. In 2010, Davis looked like a breakout star in a power zone styled running game that resembled our own. He has megastar potential down the road in Tom Cable's system, but he's also a big enough risk to possibly last this long. Though Davis ran a very fast time, I think he's similar to Ahman Green in that he's more of a power runner than a speedy runner. Green also had a surprisingly fast 40 time but didn't play ultra fast.
Courtney Gardner is another high risk high upside project. I think he's at least as gifted physically as Cordarrelle Patterson. 6'3", 215, 4.4s. He has agility after the catch that you never see from players that size. He wasn't invited to the combine, which hints that the NFL does not think he's a draft pick worthy player. Seattle could wait til UDFA to get him, but I'd rather not risk it.
Quinton Dial is an athletic 318 pound defensive end that was essentially Nick Saban's Red Bryant at Alabama last season. Dial moves much better than Red Bryant does at a similar size. I'd be willing to spend a draft pick on Dial to see what he can do for us, but most draft projections indicate that I won't have to.
Jordan Rodgers may not be a classic read option QB, but neither is Russell Wilson. Both are classic point guard types instead, using their quickness and mobility to extend plays. Rodgers seems like a quality prospect, but is being overlooked because he's 6'1" and because his older brother (Aaron Rodgers) casts quite the shadow. Of course, Jordan only stands 1" shorter than his brother. Does 1" really make that much difference? In a very weak year for late round QBs, Rodgers could make a nice UDFA get to compete as a backup.
In terms of size, strength, explosiveness, and athleticism, Cooper Taylor is a lot like a faster Brandon Browner. Taylor played strong safety at Richmond University (a division II school), but has the toolset to play several different positions in Seattle's secondary. A draftable player, I have him as a UDFA target in this version.
I think Abry Jones will be "just a guy" in the NFL, like a poor man's Allen Branch. But with Jason Jones gone, and Allen Branch/Clinton McDonald both remaining in free agency, Seattle is going to need to stockpile some bodies at DT. Abry Jones is a good choice. He isn't spectacular, but he's well rounded and a natural football player.
Brandon Hepburn is just a name out of a hat with sub 4.7 speed and late round credentials. I highlight him only because he's the type of linebacker I expect Seattle to pursue in this draft. A roster fringe type. I could see them targeting AJ Klein if Klein slides into the very late rounds.
So why so much offense?
In 2011, the Seahawks finished with statistically a top 10 defense and a bottom 5 offense. It was widely expected that Seattle would draft heavily for offense that year, and most mock drafts outside of SDB had Seattle going WR or OL in the 1st round. Completely understandable.
Then the actual draft happened. 10 draft picks. Just 3 were for offense, and 7 went to defense. WR wasn't drafted at all, and guard wasn't taken until the 7th round. A lot of people questioned going so defense heavy when the team clearly needed help on offense far more. Today, nobody questions that draft. It was easily the best draft of any team in 2012, IMO.
The Percy Harvin trade tells me that Seattle intends to win games with offense in 2013. Why not make moves to solidify it further? Imagine Lynch, Rice, Harvin, Miller, Ertz in our two TE formation. Is there a better collection of weapons in the NFL? Harrison would be a nice weapon off the bench and Davis, Watson, Robinson and Gardner all offer massive home run potential down the road.
Further, there just isn't great value in round two and three for defense. Where you do see value is areas like offensive line, wide receiver, and tight end. With almost no chance for an impact 3-tech at #56, Seattle should and probably will turn their focus to adding players that might not have played DT but have the tools to be Jason Jones types in the middle rounds. Guys like Lavar Edwards, Malliciah Goodman, Joe Kruger, John Simon. It's not a great situation at DT, but I think the Harvin trade coupled with their lack of urgency for free agent DTs signals that Seattle is fine with punting a surefire answer at 3-tech for a year and gambling with a later pick instead.
With Cliff Avril signed at LEO, there aren't really any needs on defense left. It would be nice to add some bodies at DT and in the secondary, but this isn't a top priority. Pete Carroll's tone regarding linebacker makes it sound like a late round or UDFA priority. He seems happy to go with Smith/Morgan at WILL next year, and to be fair, both are very fast linebackers and have played well so far.
With this type of draft, Seattle takes a bit of a gamble at 3-tech, but I think at a minimum we'd hold steady in the pass rush and enter next year targeting DT as a top priority. We'd still win a ton of games with an offense that on paper should be #1 in the NFL.