I was fortunate enough to get in touch with Rob Rang recently. Rob is a Senior Analyst for NFL Draft Scout and you can find his regularly updated mock drafts and detailed reports at CBS Sportsline. He's also got a proven track record of correctly predicting who Seattle will select when draft day arrives. Clearly, he's the man to talk to when you want to discuss the Seahawks' draft plans.
Rob told me that, as we discussed here over the weekend, the trade to bring Cory Redding to Seattle probably rules out the possibility of B.J. Raji being drafted fourth overall. Redding and Colin Cole have been added to a rotation already involving Branden Mebane, Red Bryant and Craig Terrill. You can only share so many snaps in the rotation, so adding an expensive draft pick into the mix seems unlikely.
It may be a similar story amongst the offensive line.
"The re-signing of Willis probably makes Monroe too much of a luxury pick, at this point." - Rob Rang
What about Michael Crabtree? Up until this weekend he was Seattle's pick in Rob's mock draft. He's since been replaced by Aaron Curry. Rob admitted that a young wide receiver remains a need for the Seahawks, even in the aftermath of the T.J. Houshmandzadeh signing. But is there something that could stop Crabtree being a consideration?
"I have some reservations about Crabtree's character and if I have some reservations, Ruskell likely does too." - Rob Rang
Character can be a deal breaker when it comes to Tim Ruskell. With so much money tied up in the fourth overall pick, it could take on an even greater emphasis this year. This isn't the first time we've heard about possible red flags with Crabtree.
Clare Farnsworth reported on Thursday, "Scouts at the Washington Pro Day this week said that the red flags attached to Crabtree go beyond his recent foot surgery that will prevent him from running before the draft."
So at this still relatively early stage, what are we expecting on April 25th? Probably the unexpected. For weeks we've been assuming Georgia quarter back Matt Stafford would be the number one pick for Detroit. Who knows what will happen between now and then, especially with the uncertain future of Jay Cutler in Denver.
"Conversations with scouts throughout the league make me think that the top 4 players right now are going to be Stafford, Jason Smith, Monroe and Curry. They could go in any order, however. There is real talk that Smith and Monroe could be 2 of the first 3 picks, meaning that either Stafford or Curry could be available to the Seahawks. If either is, he likely will be the pick simply due to the best player available strategy." - Rob Rang
Aaron Curry is ranked top of NFL Draft Scouts 'big board'. If Curry and Stafford did go in the top three, the Seahawks might reconsider the possibility of drafting an offensive playmaker.