With the 2012 NFL draft looming, most pundits are predicting that Seattle, owner of the 12th pick, will select a defensive end or a linebacker in the first round. History shows, though, that may not need be the case.
With the loss of David Hawthorne, many experts believe that the smart pick would be defensive end Quinton Coples from North Carolina or possibly Melvin Ingram, an defensive end/outside linebacker from South Carolina. Yet, is that really where the Seahawks weakness lies?
Seattle is coming off one of their best seasons defensively in quite some time. They have a secondary that is big, covers receivers well and hits hard.
The D-line is solid with the resigning of Bryant, and Chris Clemons continues to blossom in Pete Carroll's defense.
Sure, the linebacker corps is depleted, but as recent Seahawks drafts have shown us, the second and third rounds are replete with solid—even Pro Bowl caliber—linebackers. Hawthorne, Hill, and Tatupu were all taken in later rounds or picked up as undrafted free agents.
K.J. Wright had a solid rookie season at linebacker and continues that trend. (He was selected 99th in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL draft.)
The Seahawks should use the second and third rounds to select Zach Brown (OLB, North Carolina) and Mychal Kendricks (ILB, California).
At 6'1" and 244 pounds, Brown has the ability to be a run stopper, and with his speed, he can make the edge and get to the quarterback.
At 6'0" and 240 pounds, Kendricks is a bull in the middle. What's more, he has amazing speed. This gives him the ability to defend the entire width of the field.
That leaves the first round open for what the Seahawks need—an offensive guard. Specifically, they need a left guard.
That is why, with the 12th pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the Seahawks should choose David Decastro, a guard from Stanford.
Although David played right guard in college, he is rated as the No. 1 overall guard prospect by several experts, and I believe he will be able to transition to the left side quite easily.
Decastro is big and physical like Steve Hutchinson, and he is also considered to be a superb technician with an excellent work ethic and a motor.
Installed next to Okung, he should solidify the blind side and reduce Seattle's atrociously high number of sacks allowed. Last season they gave up 50, which was the fourth worst in the NFL.
This will give Flynn the protection he needs and Lynch much broader running lanes. More importantly, it will give the Seahawks the opportunity to compete for NFC West Championship and possibly get back to the level with which they played in 2005.