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Seattle Seahawks Draft: Want a Pass Rusher? Trade Down

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Seattle Seahawks Draft: Want a Pass Rusher? Trade Down
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Melvin Ingram

In 2010, the Seattle Seahawks had a chance to move down from the 14th pick, but they wanted a safety and Earl Thomas was there. A year later, he was voted to the Pro Bowl, so they apparently made the right decision.

Last year, the Hawks wanted to trade down from the 25th pick but "had some things fall apart," as general manager John Schneider said. And they ended up reaching to draft James Carpenter.

In less than four weeks, the Seahawks will be drafting at No. 12, and you can bet Schneider again will be strongly considering moving down.

There are two surefire players they could draft at 12: Stanford guard David DeCastro and Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly. If the Hawks stay still, they have to take one of those two.

But their greater need is an outside pass rusher, and that might lead them to explore options for trading down and adding a pick or two.

There are six rush ends who might be worth taking in the first round: Quinton Coples, Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram, Nick Perry, Whitney Mercilus and Andre Branch. Coples is expected to go in the top 10, and the rest have too many questions to be considered at No. 12 over sure things DeCastro and Kuechly.

But that's where the Hawks could look to move down, pick up an extra pick in the second or third round and still get a pass rusher.

There's usually decent trade action in the middle of the draft, where it is cheaper for teams to move up. Last year, Washington dropped from 10 to 16 as Jacksonville moved up for Blaine Gabbert. In 2010, Miami dropped from 12 to 28 when the Chargers desperately wanted Ryan Mathews. The Broncos dropped from 11 to 13 and then down to 24 when the Eagles wanted Brandon Graham; with those two moves, Denver added two picks in the third and one in the fourth.

The key, of course, is to be in a pivot position, sitting in a spot other teams are targeting to get a player.

You never know which player a team might be hot for, but DeCastro and Kuechly certainly would seem to be big lures for several teams. Some might want to come up for Ingram or one of the top defensive tackles, too.

With left tackle Jason Peters out for the season, the Eagles (15) could want to jump over Arizona and Dallas to get Iowa tackle Riley Reiff or Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin.

The Jets (16) could jump up to get their No. 1 pass rusher or wide receiver Michael Floyd; the Bengals (17) may want to jump Dallas to draft a corner; or the Chargers (18), Bears (19) or Titans (20) could target a pass rusher or corner.

Dropping three or four spots with the Eagles or Jets probably would net Seattle a third-rounder. Dropping to 17 or lower could pull a second-round pick.

Schneider figures to be open to moving down, because the Hawks have just six picks -- they gave up their fifth for Marshawn Lynch in 2010 (they also gave up their seventh for Tyler Polumbus in 2010, but they got Oakland's seventh for Aaron Curry last season).

One thing is for sure: The Seahawks have to get better value in this draft than they did last year, when they made a major reach for second-round talent Carpenter after being unable to move down from No. 25, then vacated the second round (without getting enough) and reached for Kris Durham in the fourth with one of the picks they got in that trade.

Schneider needs to do much better than that this year. Now that the Hawks have put together a pretty strong foundation, they need to start doing the little things well. And that means learning how to become power players in the draft, like the Patriots have done for a decade.

Of course, it takes two to make a deal.

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