It’s tough to say
which way Seattle will go when it comes to the later rounds, however, with the
need to add depth at several positions, it’s likely the Seahawks’
braintrust of Tim Ruskell, Ruston Webster and Mike Holmgren will opt for the
best player available at a position where depth is desperately needed.
Ezra Butler, OLB,
I love the way this kid
plays the game. He’s big (6-2, 244) and he’s got excellent athleticism.
He loves to attack and he’s always moving forward. Butler was a standout
on defense for the Wolf Pack during his five years in Reno, first along the
defensive line as a freshman and then as a pass-rushing outside linebacker his
final three seasons. He basically lived in the backfield, totaling 49.5 tackles-for-loss
once he got on the field. He was also an all-WAC performer in both 2006 and
Where Butler needs work
is in coverage. He’s never done much of it, so he’s a player that
will need time to develop that part of his game, but he can be a special teams
demon while looking to replace the departed Kevin Bentley who was a valuable
backup for the Seahawks.
Butler’s speed, athleticism
and motor are something you cannot teach and to add him to a backup spot behind
Seattle’s talented trio of starters would be a minor-coup if the Seahawks
think he’s fluid and flexible enough to play in reverse.
Nick Watkins, OLB,
Watkins comes from a college
that has produced a ton of top linebacking talent over the years, including
Seattle’s own Leroy Hill. Watkins is built very much like Hill and he’s
got the same football I.Q. that Hill possesses.
With his speed and instincts,
Watkins was able to amass over 333 tackles while starting his final three seasons
in Death Valley and he’s also good at playing in reverse while trying
to cover backs and tight ends.
Even better, Watkins was
a standout on the Tigers’ special teams and that is where he would be
the biggest benefit to a team like Seattle who lost the captain of their special
teams when LB Niko Koutouvides opted to head to Denver in free agency.
The thing I like most about
Larsen is his maturity and leadership. Seattle doesn’t have a true backup
middle linebacker now that Koutouvides is gone and someone like Larsen could
come in and pick up the system quickly.
After starting as a true
freshman in 2002, Larsen, who is LDS, left on a mission for two years, but then
returned in 2005 and had 51 stops in just eight games. As a junior in 2006,
Larsen notched 89 tackles and 10.5 tackles-for-loss, but it was 2007 that really
distinguished his career.
As a senior, Larsen managed
to lead the Pac 10 by posting 131 tackles, 15.5 tackles-for-loss, three forced
fumbles and four fumble recoveries and also earned First Team All-Pac 10 honors
for his efforts. When you consider the conference is littered with such top
linebacker prospects as USC’s Keith Rivers, Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing,
Cal’s Anthony Felder and Zach Follett, that is saying a lot.
If he was faster, you might
be looking at a first day selection, but his forty time at the combine (4.91)
makes him no better than a late-round selection. However, if he produces like
he’s capable of, Larsen could end up being a great pickup late on day
Jalen Parmele, RB,
The release of Shaun Alexander
didn’t surprise very many who follow the Seahawks, but his release could
mean Seattle is in the market to pick up another tailback who has some size
Parmele would be a perfect
fit in Seattle’s system. He’s big (5-11, 225) and he’s got
excellent speed (4.47) for a back of his dimensions. In a pass-oriented offense,
Parmele managed to post over 2,600 yards and 24 touchdowns the past two seasons.
He’s a physical runner
that has great feet in the hole and he really runs behind his pads. Defensive
backs don’t like the tackle him and linebackers rarely get a good angle
on him. He needs to work on his hands, as that would add another dimension to
his game, but there is no doubting his skills as a runner.
Eric Young, OG/OT,
Because of a torn left quad
in late October, Young has fallen in a lot of team’s eyes to the end of
the Draft, but he’s a player that has second or third round talent. He
showed up in our Six to Watch for the fourth round as well, but that's indicative
of the extreme swing in the draft players with injuries can experience.
Young is a versatile player
who has seen time at both tackle and guard and was successful at both positions
against some of the best competition in the country. As a junior he started
every game at right tackle and this past season he started the eight games he
was healthy for at left tackle.
and talent make him a player that could be a steal this late in the Draft if
teams make the mistake of passing on him. His size, tenacity and athleticism
make him a very intriguing prospect and he’d be a player the Seahawks
would look long and hard at if he’s available with their sixth round selection.
Because he hasn’t
played along the offensive line very long – just three years – Giacomini
is definitely one of the more raw offensive line prospects in the Draft, however,
with his size and athleticism, a team, if they are patient enough, could be
getting a first-round talent.
Giacomini has excellent
feet and size (6-7, 306) and his athleticism is rare for a man his size. He
played in a passing offense at Louisville so the kid has had plenty of experience
facing pass-rushers and last year, as the starting left tackle, he allowed only
two sacks while helping lead an offense that ranked forth in the nation.
If Seattle is patient, a
player with Giacomini’s natural skills could end up paying huge dividends
down the road in a year or two.
Who Will Seattle
Pick? This was a really tough choice for me. On the one hand you have
two solid line prospects with question marks, a very talented big-back and three
It would be easy to pick
one of the linebackers because of Seattle’s need for more depth and speed
that can be used on special teams, but I have to go with a player who could
fill some big shoes down the road, so the pick is Giacomini.
I love the kid’s athleticism
and the fact that with some good coaching and he could learn from Walter Jones
for a two or three years, just makes him even more intriguing. He’s got
all the physical tools you could want in a left tackle prospect and it will
be interesting to see how he develops over the next few years.
The "Six to Watch" Series
to Watch for Seahawks: The First Round
Six to Watch for
Seahawks: The Second Round
Six to Watch for
Seahawks: The Third Round
Six to Watch for
Seahawks: The Fourth Round