Rob Rang and Chad Reuter from NFL Draft Scout both updated their mock drafts today and have come to an agreement on who the Seahawks will draft. Eugene Monroe (OT, Virginia) is the popular choice after Seattle signed T.J. Houshmandzadeh this week.
"Monroe told media at the Combine that he admired current Seahawks tackle Walter Jones' play. With free-agent additions filling holes at defensive tackle (Colin Cole) and wide receiver (T.J. Houshmandzadeh), general manager Tim Ruskell might just help Monroe get a better view of the future Hall of Famer." - Rob Rang
"Walter Jones had microfracture surgery in December and is heading into his 13th season. Monroe is a very good player who could play on the right side if Jones returns for training camp. Michael Crabtree is the other potential pick here because Seattle needs a playmaker on offense." - Chad Reuter
Both make valid points in the sense that Seattle has improved other areas of the team in free agency - except the offensive line. Walter Jones is also coming off very serious surgery and is getting on in years - this could be a time to look towards the future. However, I have to express some scepticism over whether Monroe would be the pick. The Seahawks intend to deploy a zone blocking scheme with a greater emphasis on the running game. The two areas that I have concern for Monroe are his ability to play in such a system and his unimpressive run blocking. He also has questionable effort on the field, occasionally 'switching off' and his slightly larger midriff suggests his effort off the field is similarly inconsistent.
Taking an offensive tackle fourth overall is a similar investment to taking a quarter back. The Seahawks would be banking a young prospect to eventually replace an ageing veteran. I have no doubts that Seattle will have interest in Jason Smith - a prospect with big upside, would benefit from a year's grooming and whom can excel in the ZBS. I have to wonder if they'll simply turn to Monroe however if Smith is off the board. Interestingly, both have Seattle passing on Michael Crabtree. Even in the aftermath of Houshmandzadeh's arrival, I wouldn't be so quick to rule out him out.