In 2011, the Seattle Seahawks Select…

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In 2011, the Seattle Seahawks Select…
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

It is never too early to start talking about next year’s draft. The NFL draft is by far the most popular offseason activity, with stakeholder groups watching from around the country. The 2010 television audience was up 30 percent from last year’s, and expanded viewership isn’t a trend that will go away.

With so much interest in the draft, is it any surprise there are several 2011 NFL mock drafts already published? When the networks feel it is necessary for Jason La Canfora to announce selections to the television audience before Roger Goodell even makes it to the podium, I would imagine there is demand for mock drafts, even this early.

Even before the draft order is set or before the athletes play their final season at the collegiate level.

It is comparable to shooting from your hip in the dark, but these skilled analysts can be eerily accurate; check out Andrew Perloff’s 2010 mock draft—published in April 2009 —that guessed two of the top three picks correctly.

The big surprise? A lot of 2011 mocks don’t have Jake Locker being selected first overall. Locker could have been the first player chosen in this year’s draft but he opted to return to the University of Washington for his senior season.

The not-so-big surprise? The analysts aren’t fooled this year, and a majority of them have the Seattle Seahawks picking very early in 2011. Perloff, who writes for SI.com, has the Seahawks selecting first overall.

Here’s a look at what the Seahawks are doing in a handful of 2011 mock drafts:

Andrew Perloff, SI.com:

1. Seattle Seahawks
Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
The former Michigan quarterback has the most NFL-desirable skills in this deep QB class.

Todd McShay, ESPN.com:

12. Seattle Seahawks
Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
Dowling appears to possess a stronger overall skill set than former teammate Chris Cook, whom the Vikings selected with 34th overall pick in the 2010 draft.

Peter Schrager, Fox Sports...

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