Draft countdown: 2 weeks. Every Thursday (or Friday) until the draft May 8-10, we'll round up the latest rumors, analyze the latest mock drafts and take a look at other draft-related topics involving the Seahawks.
If the last two drafts are any indication, we have a pretty good idea which players the Seahawks are targeting in the second round this year.
In the weeks leading up to the draft, NFL teams and pro prospects busily scurry about the country for pro days, private workouts and visits. (Of course, this year they unfortunately have an extra two weeks to do that.)
Teams are allowed to go to as many pro days and private workouts as they can fit in, but they can bring in just 30 out-of-area players for visits to their facilities.
Although teams often will avoid bringing in highly ranked players so they don't tip their interest, we typically can get an idea of which positions clubs are focusing on based on which players invite.
And sometimes they end up drafting some of those guys.
The past two years, in fact, the Seahawks have used their second-round picks on players they brought in for pre-draft visits. In 2012, it was linebacker Bobby Wagner. Last year, it was running back Christine Michael.
If this draft follows suit and the Hawks keep their second-round pick, it looks like it very well could be Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson, Boise State LEO Demarcus Lawrence or Washington State safety Deone Bucannon.
If the Hawks go receiver in the first round, Lawrence would seem to be the preferred pick in the second. At 6 feet 3 and 251 pounds, he was a pass-rush demon at Boise State, where he notched 21 sacks in two seasons. He could step right into the LEO rotation in Seattle and offer a better pass rush repertoire than Bruce Irvin did as a rookie.
If Lawrence were gone, the Hawks then probably would look at Bucannon or else an offensive tackle. Bucannon has good size -- 6-1 and 211 -- and is coming off a solid six-interception senior year for the Cougars. It wouldn't be a shock to see the Hawks pull the trigger on another WSU defensive back, just a couple of weeks after former Cougar Marcus Trufant retired as a Seahawk.
During their pre-draft visits, the Hawks have focused most on receivers, offensive tackles and linebackers. According to Field Gulls' tracker, they have brought in seven receivers, five tackles and seven linebackers -- which gives us an idea of the positions they really want to add to in this draft.
Some of the receivers they have had in won't be there at the bottom of the second round, so the Hawks would have to snag one at No. 32 if they wanted one and the guy was there.
The top receivers they reportedly have hosted are Oregon State's Brandin Cooks, Indiana's Cody Latimer, Fresno State's Davante Adams and Richardson. Cooks and Latimer look likely to be gone before the Hawks pick at 32, but if either is there he could be the choice. Adams is considered a high to mid second-rounder.
Most of the tackles the Seahawks have hosted are late-round projects, but they also have sent line coach Tom Cable to several pro days to scout higher-ranked tackles. All of their professed interest in receivers at No. 32 also could just be a smokescreen covering their real interest: an offensive lineman.
The linebackers the Hawks have brought in all appear to be third-day guys: Montana's Jordan Tripp, UCLA's Jordan Zumwalt, California's Khairi Fortt, et al.
Wherever they get the players, the Hawks are certain to land a few of the guys they have brought in for visits.
Here's a look at how it has panned out the past two years:
Visits: 7 DB, 6 WR, 6 DL, 4 QB, 3 RB, OL, K, LB, TE
Drafted/signed: RB Christine Michael (Round 2), DT Michael Brooks (UDFA), QB B.J. Daniels (waivers), LB Craig Wilkins (UDFA).
Drafted by others: DB Tyrann Mathieu (3), FS Duke Williams (4), C Ryan Jensen (6), LB Rufus Johnson (6), CB Jeremy Harris (7), TE Michael Williams (7), DE Mike Catapano (7), QB B.J. Daniels (7), QB Zac Dysert (7)
Notes: Michael was the top prospect to visit as most of the others were late-round/undrafted options. … Daniels was drafted by San Francisco, but the Hawks claimed him off waivers in October and moved him to the practice squad in November. ... Brooks bounced on and off the practice squad all season. … Wilkins was signed after the draft but did not make the team.
Visits: 7 WR, 6 DB, 5 DL, 3 LB, QB, 3 TE, 2 OT, 2 RB
Drafted/signed: LB Bobby Wagner (2), LB Korey Toomer (5), CB Jeremy Lane (6), RB Derrick Coleman (UDFA), SS DeShawn Shead (UDFA).
Drafted by others: DT Michael Brockers (1), WR Brian Quick (2), DB Brandon Hardin (3), CB Ron Brooks (4), LB Danny Trevathan (6), TE Brad Smelley (7), TE David Paulson (7), QB Chandler Harnish (7).
Notes: DL Michael Brockers was the only first-round prospect brought in. He was drafted 14th overall by St. Louis. The Hawks could have had him but traded down from 12 to 15 to take LB Bruce Irvin. … The Hawks drafted Wagner in the second round, Toomer in the fifth and Lane in the sixth. Coleman and Shead were undrafted free agents who spent time on the practice squad and were part of the Super Bowl team in 2013.
HOW DOES RICE IMPACT DRAFT?
The re-signing of Sidney Rice does not change the fact that Golden Tate is gone, Percy Harvin was hurt all last season and Doug Baldwin will be a free agent in 2015 if not signed to a long-term deal before then. That all adds up to a need at wide receiver.
Some are calling this perhaps the best receiver draft in league history, but it would be pretty hard to surpass the 1996 draft (with first-rounders Keyshawn Johnson, Terry Glenn, Eddie Kennison, Marvin Harrison, Eric Moulds and later picks Amani Toomer, Muhsin Muhammad, Bobby Engram, Terrell Owens and Joe Horn) or the 1988 draft (first-rounders Tim Brown, Sterling Sharpe, Michael Irvin, Anthony Miller, Aaron Cox and second-rounders Flipper Anderson, Brian Blades and Brett Perriman).
Whether it rivals those or not, the fact is there are a ton of good receivers this year, with quality extending into the fifth round.
Of course, the Hawks might want to avoid using their fourth-round pick on a wideout, though. That didn't work very well with Kris Durham in 2011 or Chris Harper in 2013. Or maybe they should just steer clear of receivers named K(Ch)ris.
PRYOR DEAL IS A LOW-COST GAMBLE
Giving up a seventh-rounder for Terrelle Pryor was a good flyer on an amazing athlete who could end up fitting in one of several ways.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider said the team plans to see whether it can coach him up at quarterback (the Raiders sure couldn't), but they could decide in camp that he offers nothing at QB and try to move him to a different position. If he balked, they might end up cutting him.
It could go so many ways, but considering just four out of Schneider's 10 seventh-round picks have played for the Hawks, it was not a big gamble.
Besides, Schneider knows he is going to get four extra draft picks in 2015 and he figures to come out of this draft with his usual nine picks or so.
Here's a look at recent mock draft picks for Seattle at No. 32:
WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
Rang says: "With the final pick of the first round, Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have the luxury of letting the draft come to them. Addressing depth along the line of scrimmage is their likeliest course, but the team may be unable to let a Percy Harvin-like weapon in Cooks slip by, especially given the durability concerns with the real Harvin, as well as newly re-signed teammate Sidney Rice."
We say: He's not the big receiver everyone says the Hawks like, but he definitely can fly (4.33 in the 40). If he's there, he seems to be an option.
Round 2: Dominique Easley, Florida
OG Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA:
Brugler says: "Offensive guard has been an inconsistent position on the Seattle roster. Su'a-Filo has experience at tackle and guard but projects best inside and will be the top guard in this class for several teams."
We say: Hard to see the Hawks going guard unless all of their other options are not there and they cannot move down.
Round 2: CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska
OL Joel Bitonio, Nevada
Staton says: "I went with Bitonio because it’s a bigger need. They can plug him in at right tackle or left guard. He can act as a backup left tackle too."
We say: This guy seems like the pick the Hawks need to make,
WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State
Burke and Farrar say: "With Sidney Rice’s long injury history and Golden Tate’s departure to Detroit, the Seahawks are in clear need of a red-zone target who can dominate in the physical NFC West. Though Benjamin is still learning the NFL route tree, he’d be able to come in and win right away in the paint, taking Seattle’s red-zone offense to a new level."
We say: This guy has bust written all over him. Just because he is the big 6-5 guy everyone thinks the Hawks need does not mean he is the guy the Hawks need.
DE Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State
Brinson says: "Guessing who the Seahawks will take in the first is always a crapshoot. When in doubt, give them a pass rusher who fits the LEO mold and can do damage, regardless of who's on their roster."
We say: Lawrence fits the Hawks, and even though some have him as a late second-rounder, they have proven they don’t care (see Bruce Irvin and James Carpenter).