Entering the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine, the Seattle Seahawks are one of the most unpredictable teams in terms of draft strategy.
A roster riddled with necessity, including depth and/or starters at QB, RB, OT, OG, DE, DT, CB, and S, the Seahawks have thrown both mock drafters and die-hard fans into a frenzy concerning their 2010 draft plans.
The Seattle Seahawks hold overall picks No. 6 and No. 14 in the 2010 NFL Draft, making them a prominent player in affecting the landscape of the draft.
With this confusion and influence in mind, here is a look at five players who, in my opinion, the Seahawks should keep a close eye on in the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine.
Some of these players will address the Seahawks needs immediately, such as players projected to be taken in the first round, and others are (again, in my opinion) potential late-round choices that could contribute to the Seattle Seahawks roster.
In my opinion, offensive tackle is the greatest need for the Seattle Seahawks. I believed this prior to Walter Jones’ announced retirement, and his loss only magnifies the need to find a franchise-caliber offensive tackle (hopefully to fit the left side).
Luckily, the Seahawks hold the No. 6 pick, which can net them a top-tier offensive tackle. Unfortunately, most mock drafts predict the best tackle available, Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung to be gone by pick No. 6.
To make matters worse, some mock drafts even have the second best tackle available, Iowa’s Brian Bulaga, off the board as well.
One name that should stick with the Seattle Seahawks in their search for an offensive tackle is Rutgers OT Anthony Davis. Davis is an absolute monster at 6’6” 325lbs, and has the physical tools to be an elite OT in the NFL.
The downside to Davis is his attitude problems, including a one-game suspension in 2008, a notable benching in 2009, and an announced demotion to second-string prior to the 2009 season due to weight issues.
Regardless of his attitude issues, however, Davis could wow the scouts at the combine. This is one player the Seahawks need to keep track of, especially if they can land him at pick No. 14.
This is the “duh” selection of my list. Everyone and their mother has the Seattle Seahawks taking Clemson RB C.J. Spiller at pick No.14, including the majority of mock drafts.
Spiller is lightning. Literally. Prior to RB James Davis’ departure to the NFL in 2009, Spiller was the “lightning” in Clemson’s “Thunder and Lightning” duo.
With elite speed (4.37 40-yard-dash) and excellent return skills, Spiller could make an instant impact on the Seattle Seahawks roster.
Theories have been abundant to Spiller’s role, ranging from starting running back (pending a Julius Jones dismissal and Justin Forsett relegation to third-down duties) to flex option, similar to Reggie Bush in New Orleans.
Spiller has been compared to playmaker Felix Jones of Dallas, and this kind of spark would be a welcome spark to a Seahawks team desperately lacking playmaking capabilities.
Several Seahawks fans and writers alike believe that the Seattle Seahawks should use one of their first round picks, either No. 6 or No. 14, to address an ever-present lack of depth and durability at the quarterback position.
In this year’s draft, there are two “elite” quarterback prospects, in Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford and Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen. The X-Factor to this year’s quarterback draft class, however, could be Texas QB Colt McCoy.
Notably injured in the BCS National Championship Game, McCoy spent the rest of his senior year displaying quickness, efficiency, and an outstanding mastery of short and medium completions.
McCoy’s draft stock has failed to live up to his college hype. Several scouts are skeptical of McCoy’s ability to play at the next level due to his size (6’3” 210lbs) and inefficiency at throwing deep routes.
As Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints just showed, however, an offense running primarily on short and efficient completions can win in the NFL.
McCoy will be a wild card at the combine, and I think the Seahawks should take note of his performance, for better or worse.
Current mock drafts have McCoy anywhere from the second to fourth rounds, and he could be a great choice at that juncture for a Seahawks team desperately seeking a quarterback of the future.
Another area in which the Seahawks are lacking stability is at cornerback. CB Josh Wilson turned in a few excellent games in 2009, but for the most part this secondary is facing a steep decline.
Former Pro Bowl CB Marcus Trufant is noticeably past his prime, and the Seahawks have more wasted draft picks in their secondary than the Lions wide receiving corps circa 2004. Among the Seahawks cornerbacks are Trufant (First Round – 2003), Kelly Jennings (First Round – 2006), and Josh Wilson (Second Round – 2007).
There are several top-tier cornerbacks in this year’s draft, including Florida CB Joe Haden and Texas CB Earl Thomas. One of the most intriguing cornerback options, to me, is Oklahoma State CB Perrish Cox.
Cox is a lightning bolt on the field (4.44 40-yard-dash), and a dynamite kick returner (six career return TDs). As previously mentioned, the Seahawks are in need of playmakers on the field.
Cox has the potential to contribute to the Seahawks secondary, and also factor into special teams, all for the price of a second to fourth round pick.
The Seahawks should evaluate him heavily to see if he may be a late-round interest come draft day.
Last but not least comes one of the few college football players to ever win an NCAA Championship in another sport: LSU WR Trindon Holliday.
Holliday, the 5’6” former NCAA 100-yard-dash champion, showed flashes of brilliance in his career at LSU. Holliday’s career lacked anything close to consistency, but his playmaking capabilities grew directly out of his extraordinary speed.
It is unlikely that Holliday will play wide receiver in the NFL, at only 5’6” and 162lbs, but Holliday could contribute elsewhere.
To those who are skeptical, consider the following: the Seahawks could land the fastest human being in this draft (4.27 40-yard-dash) in the sixth or seventh round, or maybe even free agency.
The odds are that Trindon Holliday does not have a future in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean the Seahawks should write him off at the scouting combine. He has been invited to the combine as a “specialist,” so why not assess his talents at just that?