Seahawks Insider

NFL draft preview: OL to consider

Post by Eric Williams on April 21, 2010 at 11:39 am with 38 Comments »
April 21, 2010 11:39 am
Mike Iupati, University of Idaho OG, BILL STARLING/ The (Mobile, Ala.) Press-Register

Whether or not the Seattle Seahawks get the offensive tackle they covet in the first round depends on what happens before them in this year’s NFL draft, but with two picks in the first round, at No. 6 and No. 14, Seattle has a good chance to upgrade a porous offensive line that struggled to protect Matt Hasselbeck last season.

The Seahawks have drafted just one offensive tackle in the first round since taking cornerstone offensive tackle Walter Jones No. 6 overall in the 1997 draft. That selection was Wisconsin product Chris McIntosh in 2000 (No. 22 overall), whose career was cut short after three seasons due to a nerve injury.

Seattle did select offensive guard Steve Hutchinson with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2001 draft, but we all know how that turned out, don’t we?

If offensive tackles Russell Okung and Trent Williams go in the top five picks, Seattle may pass on an offensive tackle at No. 6, figuring they would get better value by selecting Iowa’s Bryan Bulaga or Anthony Davis of Rutgers at No. 14.

My story today discusses the possibility of the Seahawks going after Idaho offensive guard Mike Iupati if one of the top tackles is not available with the team’s pick at No. 6.

I also talked to WSU product Kenny Alfred, who could be a late-round possibility for Seattle at center.

Rob Rang’s offensive lineman to consider

Round Pick Name

1 (6) Russell Okung, 6-5, 307, Oklahoma State

Rob’s rationale: Draft’s best pass blocker (1 sack allowed in 336 passes in 2009) likely to be a Seahawk if available at No. 6. Highlights.

1 (14) Bryan Bulaga, 6-6, 314, Iowa

Rob’s rationale: Lacks the athleticism Seattle is looking for in the top 10, but will hold too much value if they looked elsewhere at No. 6. Highlights.

2 (60) Jon Asamoah, 6-4, 305, Illinois

Rob’s rationale: Idaho’s Iupati gets all of the attention, but Asamoah is the other top-notch OG prospect. Highlights.

4 (104, 127) Selvish Capers, 6-5, 308, West Virginia

Rob’s rationale: Former tight end still growing into the position. Speed and agility makes him among the best downfield blockers in this class. Highlights.

5 (133,139) Zane Beadles, 6-5, 310, Utah

Rob’s rationale: Four-year starting left tackle that some feel may be best suited moving inside to left guard. Combine workout.

6 (176) Shelley Smith, 6-3, 300, Colorado State

Rob’s rationale: Agile and experienced (31 starts at guard), Smith could be a late round find capable of developing into a future starter in a zone-blocking scheme.

7 (245) Kenny Alfred, 6-2, 290, Washington State

Rob’s rationale: The Gig Harbor High graduate is tough and experienced, but too small for most schemes. His smarts and agility make him a possible fit at center in Gibbs’ zone-blocking scheme, however.

Leave a comment Comments → 38
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Beadles is a favorite of mine on this list. (Actually, I like Iupati because my cousin goes to Idaho as well and has had me following him for some time now. Good guy too) He may not fit the prototypical size for a Gibbs guard but he has all the intangibles, and that seems to mean as much to him as anything.

  2. Dukeshire says:

    *He* meaning Beadles…

  3. sugashack says:

    Everything I read about Iupati says he’s more a man on man blocker than a zone guy. I love him (from Idaho but didn’t go there) but would be surprised if we took him given what I’ve read. That KC pick is a big one for us. If they take Williams then I wish we’d trade our pick on move down the board and pick up a second or third in addition. If not I hope we take Eric Berry at No. 6 as he is the only guy that justifies that pick (although that’s high for a S). That’s too early for CJ Spiller or any of the DE on the board.

  4. Here’s a pre-draft story that my nephew told me.

    A few years back he was in a tattoo parlor down in Oregon getting one of his many tattoos. A guy walked in and the tattoo artist introduced him to a linebacker from Oregon State who said he was about to be drafted into the NFL that year (2004). They hung out for awhile and my nephew promised him that he’d get a tattoo of the logo belonging to whatever team drafted him; though, he told him to please make sure it’s not the 49ers. Well, sure enough he went to the 49ers in the 4th round that year, so my nephew kept his word and got the tat, then later got his signature tatooed over that.

    Turns out that the player was arrested for being a pimp, but he was falsely accused, and was later exonnerated, but the incident pretty much ruined his career in the NFL. Now he plays in Toronto. My nephew and he are still friends even though he threatens to add a feather to the 49ers helmet on his tattoo.

    True story:

  5. IdahoVandalHawk says:

    As you can see by my username I would LOVE to see Iupati as a Hawk. I have a hard time seeing it though, I think he’s a big reach at #6, although it’s more reasonable to see him going to the Hawks at #14. I would have no problem seeing the hawks draft the top OT available at #6 then Iupati at #14.

    We need playmakers in the trenches (O-line and D-Line).

    There has been lots of talk about C.J. Spiller and the Hawks. I’m not convinced the best thing to do is go get that “playmaker” at least not this year. There will be more “playmakers” available next year. Those “playmakers” need a line to run behind. The only back I’ve ever seen have success with a crap O-line was Barry Sanders and he was one in a million. I like C.J. Spiller, but C.J. is no Barry Sanders.

    I think Julius and J-Force along with another short yardage back (draft?) can get us by for this year. BUILD THE LINES, then get your playmakers.

  6. Someone tell me there is 0 chance the Seahawks trade the number 6 pick for that Steelers QB?

  7. If there is an NBA playoff game and a MLB game on TV at the same time as the NFL draft, I would bet the draft will be the most watched.

    Idahohawkfan, I agree, both lines first.

  8. Dukeshire says:

    I was joking earlier when I said trade Ben to the Raiders.

    … where careers go to die.

  9. Dukeshire says:

    pabuwal – There is zero chance.

  10. surelyyoujest says:

    I’m hoping we trade out of one or both of our 1st round slots. Multiple times if possible. Pick up some 2’s and 3’s and then let the new GM earn his money. Unless, by some freakish circumstances, Suh or McCoy drop to us…..which I can’t see happening. Slide the #6 back to 9-11, and slide the #14 back into the 20’s. I’d like to see us pick up an earlier 2nd round pick if possible. If we ended up with multiple picks in each of the first 3 rounds, that’s like two draft years in one. Now THAT’s how you transform a Team quickly.

  11. IdahoVandalHawk,

    It takes the longest for the OLine to gel, so it makes sense to put that in place before anything else. I’m just concerned that we may pass on real talent because Gibbs has had luck with later round picks. I have four problems with that:

    1. As has been pointed out, Gibbs’s best years are with teams that had some top talent on the O Line, and he has had subpar years with other teams who didn’t have the same level of talent.

    2. Let’s just say he is successful getting later round picks to play well. What happens when he leaves? Solari was supposed to be one of the best but our talentless OLine suffered even under his tutelage.

    3. The ZBS should help our run blocking but how about pass blocking? Yes, a great running game will set up the pass but we’re still going to pass 40% of the time and we don’t want our QBs getting creamed when the opposing team guesses right.

    4. If it turns out that we pass on top OL talent, but do well elsewhere, we may still improve enough to put us back up to medicroty for awhile, which means we won’t be drafting high enough to snag the top end talent any time soon.

    Conclusion: Since it’s easier to find top-flight players in later rounds at just about every position besides the OL and DL, and since the best players on the OLine can be successful in any system, and since they’ll need time to gel, I say we draft:

    Okung (#6) and Bulaga (#14) then move Buluga to Guard and backup LT. How does that sound? Later in the draft we pick up another young guard and center and call it good for this year. Gibbs’s teams have drafted up to five OL in one draft before.

  12. IdahoVandalHawk says:

    Audible: Sounds good to me. Iupati has a place in my heart, but he may not have a place in the ZBS. He sure is a monster man on man though….

  13. I wonder if Pitt will really trade Roethlisberger when all is said and done? Would definitely be taking something of a stand against off-field behavior – b/c it’s not like Ben is a locker-room problem for them, or his on-field play is slipping. Pretty interesting story to follow.

    I’ve got a feeling we’re all going to be OK with the picks tomorrow – it’s going to be either Berry or a DE, and an O-lineman.

  14. I really doubt PA would want a sexual predator as the face of our franchise. Al Davis, maybe….not not Allen. And, Tod Lieweke is too smart for that…it would give this team a black eye.

    The Rooneys are smart to dump him while he still has some value, but I really doubt they’re going to get a top ten pick for him unless it’s the Raiders.

    My girlfriend just got back from a funeral in Pitt and said fans think he’s a dumbass and want him gone. It’s probably better for the team and for Ben (not that I care) to get a new start elsewhere.

  15. I’d rather have Jared Gaither (Baltimore Ravens) over Russell Okung with the #6 pick. Gaither is a good left tackle. He won’t ever be Walt, but he’s good. Okung is the unknown that some think will be good with limited upside. Why not go for the sure thing when the difference in their ages is only a year and a half?

    I do NOT promote the idea of trading the #6 pick to get Gaither. We know for a fact that Baltimore will accept an early 2nd round pick in return for him. So I have no problem with us trading down over and over and over and over again to stockpile picks even if we supposedly get ripped off in the trade value chart to the point where we can offer a late 1st or early 2nd to Baltimore for Gaither.

    I have no problem with acquiring Jammal Brown from the Saints either, but he’s older and I’d rather have a 24 year old over one who is 29 (but he’ll probably cost less, at least I would imagine, and if we acquired enough picks, then I would consider it, but not if we can’t add picks).

  16. What’s the closest we can get to the good OL’ (ha) Walt/Hutch days…..

    Gaither / Bulaga?

  17. Dukeshire says:

    The closer we get, the more surprised I’d be if they actually selected at 6 and 14. I’m not going to try speculating what trade(s) there might be. Just a feeling.

  18. Audible,
    I don’t think Alex Gibbs would want a huge OG like Gaither.

    I’m looking at OT Williams or Okung in round 1, and Marshall Newhouse is a stud zbs-type OG who could be available in round 4. Walt/Hutch? Maybe not, but we could end up really liking what we have when they grow up in a few years.

  19. What the heck, why not speculate??? Its the nfl draft, after all.

    Philadelphia has picks 24 and 55, and might want to trade up for 14.
    Cincinnati has picks 21 and 54, and might want to trade up for 14.

    First we have to wait to see who is still available at 14.
    Then PC and The Schneid will play Let’s Make a Deal.

  20. The12thMan says:

    I’m totally with you Bobby, I would much rather have Gaither than any LT in this draft. Reports on a lack of work ethic in Gaither bother me but even with that he is pretty regularly ranked in the top 5 LT’s in the league. Just imagine how good he could be if Gibbs was able to light a real fire under his ass.

    With our #14 pick I would like to trade down with either New England at #22 (throw in Branch and get one of their 3 2nd rounders), or else trade it down to Green Bay for their #23 and their 2nd rounder. Then trade either the #22 or #23 for Gaither along with Baltimore’s 3rd rounder in 2011 (getting back the pick we lost for Whitehurst). Me likey!

  21. PC was too smart to give up too much for B Marshall. I think he will be too smart to give away #6 and/or #14 without adequate compensation. Could very well be that no team will give up what PC is asking.

  22. faderoute_88 says:

    I would be surprised to see them not trade down, but if they hold at 6 and 14 I think they may go hard at Spiller at 6 and get the OL help with Iupati at 14.

    I still love Berry but dont expect to see him in a Hawks jersey. I would kill for Berry and Iupati.

    We can go so many ways this year it makes for a lot of anticipation and fun to speculate.

    I believe we will trade out of one 1st round pick and move back and get a lower second and or trade picks later to get a second.

  23. Dukeshire says:

    I found this very interesting. I’ve always wondered about it and I love the behind the scenes glimpse.

  24. Dukeshire says:

    Does anyone besides me find it odd Bradford hasn’t been signed yet? Or even rumors about a possible contract haven’t been swirling as they usually are this near the draft.

  25. Reports from random souces (ESPN, NFL, etc) saying that he’s not going to be signed until after the draft, possible trades (unlikely) and both parties, Rams & Bradfords camp feel its best to wait until after he’s drafted.

  26. I want an OT from one of the Oklahoma schools at #6 and BPA at #14 (and I mean the very best player available irregardless of position) or trade down if there is an opportunity. We have to solidify at least 1 position for the next few years in the 1st round. I wouldn’t mind taking 2 OLs in the 1st. I do not expect the hawks to compete for the NFL West this year but I expect building blocks being layed into the foundation for future drafts to build on. Good luck to PC and crew. May your scouting be spot on.

  27. Big Ben to Seattle? What happened to him in Georgia wasn’t the first time and may not be the last. If it happens again it won’t be a 4-6 game suspension. It could be a year or more.

    Seattle shouldn’t say “no” to a Ben trade. They should say “hell no!”

  28. sherminator says:

    Dukeshire –

    you still planning on Bridgeport Pub (in NW?) for the draft tomorrow?

  29. The closer we get to the draft, the more I hope we don’t take Bulaga, Okung, or Williams (or any of the LTs) with our #6 pick.

    I said it earlier tonight, there’s no way I’d rather have any of those unknowns before a guy who is proven to be good (Brown is better, Gaither is almost the age of Okung).

    It makes absolutely no sense (I’m becoming adamant about it) to take one player at that salary at #6 when we could get extra picks by moving down to eventually get a late 1st or early 2nd to offer Baltimore in the process for Gaither. I don’t care if we have to give Gaither or Brown bigger bucks; they have been in the league, played well, and deserve it).

    Does our front office have the guts to trade down and supposedly not get proper value for trading down once, twice, three times, etc. to get a pick late in the 1st or early in the 2nd to offer up for Gaither, while also accumulating other picks in the 2nd or 3rd and/or 4th rounds to we can actually get younger, faster?

    This is a unique opportunitiy, having two quality Left Tackles available for trade. If anything, we can offer deals to both teams at the same time and say whoever accepts first that we’ll take that offer. And if neither bite, we can go from there, as it is known, again, that both are available for trade.

  30. I’d love to see Alfred in the competition for our OL picked up late rounds or undrafted. The Cougs haven’t much to be proud of the last couple years but Alfred is one of them.

  31. I hope we are going with rounds and not exact.

    I say:

    C. Brown

    Donald Butler

    Beadles Og

    Legarrette Blount

    Jordan Shipley WR


    Jon Amaya, CB

  32. Okay I am one short and the rounds are wrong but I want to add one

    A.J. Edds, LB

  33. Dukeshire says:

    sherminator – I’m thinking Friday around 3:30 p.m. I don’t know if you’ve ever been there but they have an upstairs bar with couches. I’ll be up there wearing a Seahawks sweatshirt. Can’t imagine it will be too crowded so shouldn’t be hard to spot. Come on by…

    Bobby – I actually dreamt about the draft last night. It was one of those vague dreams where a lot happens but you can’t remember the specifics. The only thing I recall is that the ‘Hawks landed Okung at 6 and there were trades involved. If anything like that happens I’m going to freak out.

  34. I hope you end up freaking out then b/c I think Gaither and a bunch of 3rd/4th round picks will be better for the Seahawks than Okung.

  35. Dukeshire says:

    I agree.

  36. BobbyK-
    My horse needs a jockey for the race – I’d like to ask Albert Haynesworth if he’s available.

  37. I want A.Gibbs to ask LT Alonzo Durham (UNR) to come to Hawks TC as an UDFA.

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