Scott Eklund, Recruiting Editor, Dawgman.com
DE Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech -- Assuming they take Russell Okung at six, the Seahawks still need help on defense and especially up front. That being taken into account, Morgan is the best defensive end prospect available in the draft because of his ability to be a force rushing the quarterback and his underrated skills at stopping the run. He’s got a motor that doesn’t quit and he’s solid in every aspect of playing the defensive end position.
Brian McIntyre, Editor-in-Chief, NorthwestFootball.net
DB Earl Thomas, Texas -- The Seahawks enter the draft with just one natural safety (Jamar Adams) on its roster, and in Thomas, they’ll add a versatile, dynamic play-maker who, despite not turning 21 until more than two weeks after he’s selected in the NFL Draft, will bring leadership to the back-end of the secondary. Thomas can cover like a cornerback, but in the NFL, his best position will be free safety, where he can use his ball-hawking skills to make throwing deep against the Seahawks a tenuous prospect for opposing quarterbacks.
Doug Farrar, Publisher, NorthwestFootball.net
DE Brandon Graham, Michigan -- The more I look at the defensive end position, and especially the ends in this draft, the more I’m convinced that there should be a split sub-position from defensive end – pure pass rusher. Those players should be separated and scouted as such. The Seahawks have defensive ends. What they do not have are pure pass rushers designed to give a situational advantage on passing downs. And in the modern NFL, every down is a passing down. That is to say, Seattle already has guys who can sort of rush the passer and sort of stop the run – what they need is a player who can pin his ears back on a consistent basis and apply regular pressure to the passer. In this draft, I believe that Graham has the best skill set to do that in the way the Seahawks need.
Derrick Morgan is seen as the safe pick at the end position because he also stops the run well, but Graham’s burst off the edge is just that much better. He has a great array of inside and outside moves; his technique will impress. At 6-foot-2 and 268 pounds, he might fall down some boards due to his height. Other teams will take a hard look at Graham, and what Elvis Dumervil has done in three-and four-man fronts in Denver, and understand the physical advantage Graham has in that he can get under a tackle’s pads, slip off a block, and jet to the quarterback.
Sometimes used as an end in a three-man front as opposed to an outside rusher, Graham might have amassed better stats had he been used to his advantage in a 4-3 front on a full-time basis– his breakthrough performance at the Senior Bowl showed this. Still, he led the nation in tackles for loss in 2009 with 26. That’s what end pressure is all about – getting in the backfield, wreaking havoc, and stopping things before they even begin. Perhaps more than any defender in this draft class, Graham has the ability to do these things.