2012 NFL Mock Draft: Seattle Seahawks Draft Thoughts Beyond Quarterback

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IFebruary 9, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks congratulates Leon Washington #33 after scoring a touchdown during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Seahawks 23-20 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Identifying and securing a franchise quarterback is and should be the No. 1 priority for the Seattle Seahawks this offseason.

Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst can get by for a season or two, but Seattle won't need to schedule any championship victory parades if they don't acquire their future at the game's most important position.

However, the Seahawks are in a tricky draft slot. A coin flip will decide whether Seattle drafts at No. 11 or 12, and let's be honest: No quarterback worth the value is likely to be available when the Seahawks' pick comes up. Andrew Luck will go No. 1, then Robert Griffin III is likely to go No. 2 (via trade with Rams) or shortly thereafter.

That puts general manager John Schneider in a tough spot.

Do you take a quarterback with the potential to be a franchise guy, while also reaching considerably?

Or, do you continue to build on a defense that has slowly become one of the NFL's most overlooked units?

I'd argue that the decision won't be a difficult one come April.

The Seahawks came alive on the defensive side in 2011, holding nine of their last 10 opponents under 23 points and ranking in the top-15 in both pass and run defense.

The nucleus, which includes Chris Clemons, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, K.J. Wright and Brandon Browner, can match anyone's unit if the younger players in the group continue on their current career progressions.

There's a chance that if the Seahawks add another piece or two, Seattle's defense could be among the NFL's very best in 2012. And sitting pretty at No. 11 or 12 should be an impact defender at a needed position of linebacker or defensive end. 

South Carolina's Melvin Ingram could be high on the list, as could Quinton Coples (UNC), Whitney Mercilus (Illinois), Michael Brockers (LSU), Nick Perry (USC), Devon Still (Penn State) and Zach Brown (UNC).     

Most would consider drafting any of the names above at the No. 11 or 12 spot as better values than reaching for a quarterback such as Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M) or Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State).

Eventually, the Seahawks will have to address that position. But the 49ers proved in 2011 that a shutdown defense and safe quarterback play can win a division.

The way the Seahawks are built right now, drafting a couple of defensive players to get closer to their division rivals makes a lot of sense.

2012 NFL Mock Draft    

1.  Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

2.  St. Louis Rams – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

3.  Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil, OT, USC

4.  Cleveland Browns – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

5.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

6.  Washington Redskins – Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

7.  Jacksonville Jaguars – Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

8.  Carolina Panthers – Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

9.  Miami Dolphins – Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

10.  Buffalo Bills – Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama

11.  Kansas City Chiefs – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

12.  Seattle Seahawks – Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

13.  Arizona Cardinals – Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

14.  Dallas Cowboys – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

15.  Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

16.  New York Jets – Nick Perry, LB, USC

17.  Cincinnati Bengals – Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

18.  San Diego Chargers – David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

19.  Chicago Bears – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

20.  Tennessee Titans – Zach Brown, OLB, UNC

21.  Cincinnati Bengals – Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

22.  Cleveland Browns – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

23.  Detroit Lions – Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

24.  Pittsburgh Steelers – Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia

25.  Denver Broncos – Devon Still, DL, Penn State

26.  Houston Texans – Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis

27.  New England Patriots – Mark Barron, S, Alabama

28.  Green Bay Packers – Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois

29.  Baltimore Ravens – Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State

30.  San Francisco 49ers – Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

31.  New England Patriots – Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

32.  New York Giants – Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama


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