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      By GladiatorHawk

This week we have been taking a look at profiling players that could be selected by the Seahawks draft team. Previously profiled players can be accessed here...

Gladiator Profiled for Seahawks - Tight End

Gladiator Profiled for Seahawks - Cornerback

Gladiator Profiled for Seahawks - Guard

Gladiator Profiled for Seahawks - Defensive Tackle

Let's have some fun and expand this out to a "6-pack" pool of targets that Ruskell most likely would be considering when selecting players from that draft slot.

Players in bold would indicate the preferred player from that round's pool of players.

Second Round (55)

DE LeMarr Woodley (Team leader, nasty, hard worker) Video

DT Justin Harrell (Trade-up necessary, leader, plays run well, good tackler) Video

DE Ikaika Alama-Francis (Phenomenal athlete, very quick for his size) Video

TE Zack Miller (Superb hands, good YAC, very physical, doubtful to slip to 55) Video

CB Marcus McCauley (Tall, athletic, fast, good tackler and supports run well) Video

DE Charles Johnson (Super job versus the run) Video

Third Round (85)

DT Brandon Mebane (Disruptive penetrator who collapses pocket, top motor and intangibles)

OG Andy Alleman (Hard worker, great motor with nasty attitude, former DT)

OG Josh Beekman (Hard worker, good character, would be solid player)

DT Quinn Pitcock (Extremely strong, sound, very good versus the run)

LB Quincy Black (Outstanding athlete with great instincts, can blitz and cover)

DE Dan Bazuin (Aggressive, instinctive and smart, a little small for DE)

Fourth Round (120)

CB Courtney Brown (Tall, fast, athletic, leaper, good special teams player)

TE Kevin Boss (Excellent hands, solid size, good speed, good blocker)

LB HB Blades (Related to Brian, team leader, versatile, good tackler)

C Leroy Harris (4 year starter also played both guard spots)

DT Jay Alford (Can penetrate and make plays behind line)

RB Brandon Jackson (Excellent vision, runs inside and outside well, good receiver)

Fifth Round (161)

DB John Wendling (Very athletic, leaper, very fast for size)

DT Derek Landri (can rush the passer inside)

TE Michael Allan (Raw, good hands, athletic)

CB Usama Young (Good size and speed, solid tackler, impressed Hawks)

LB Dallas Sartz (Instinctive, good range, very good special teamer)

CB CJ Gaddis (Good ball skills, size and speed, good tackler)

Sixth Round (197 and 210)

CB Tim Mixon (Smart, good instincts, breaks up a lot of passes)

OG Tim Duckworth (Strong, powerful, better at the run than pass)

FB Le'ron McClain (He's a load, very good lead blocker)

FB Cory Anderson (Explosive, good athlete, great blocker, can catch)

OG Mike Jones (Nasty, good technician, very experienced)

WR David Ball (Broke Jerry Rice's TD record)

Seventh Round (232)

RB Jackie Battle (Great Pro Day, strong and fast)

C Dustin Fry (Mauler in the run game, can play multiple positions)

WR Syndric Steptoe (Very good return skills)

DE Mkristo Bruce (Intense, strong, leader in the clubhouse)

TE Daniel Coates (Blocking specialist)

OG Dan Santucci (Nasty, hard worker, smart, has upside)

Gladiator Hawk

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One of the key missing ingredients last year was identified when Tubbs absent during games last year. In Mike Sando's blog, he eloquently pointed out much more inferior the defense was in stopping the run when Tubbs was out. In his story Weighing Tubbs Impact the Seahawks gave up 42 yards more per game and .99 yards more per carry when Tubbs was sidelined.

The quality at defensive tackles trails off sharply after the top 3 DTs are taken in the draft. The Seahawks would be wise to put a bulls eye on Justin Harrell and trade up towards the top of round 2 to fit him for a Seahawks uniform.

The Tennessee Volunteer is tough as nails will play through pain as demonstrated when he put the team first playing rival Florida with a ruptured biceps tendon.

He is quick and explosive at the snap. His stats cloak his true value because he will occupy two blockers at the line of scrimmage, freeing up teammates to close in for the tackle. Justin is an outstanding at containing inside running plays. He has very good change of direction agility and can split double teams. His very strong weight room ethic, team first attitude, and battles until the whistle, which is why teammates look to Harrell for leadership.

He needs to work on his pass rushing, although he does show effective rip and club moves to penetration to the quarterback. He could improve his techniques with his hand placement to prevent blockers from getting underneath his pads. Package pick #55 with a player on the trading block, and Harrell will bring great value to the organization.

Meet your defensive tackle of the future -- Justin Harrell.

Gladiator Hawk

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      By GladiatorHawk

In our third installment of Gladiator Profiled for Seahawks, we turn our attention to the cornerback position. The buildup in the defensive secondary is quite evident already with the Hawks adding 2 safeties in Deon Grant and Brian Russell. Mike Holmgren has cited in this interview that he could use another cornerback.

The best fit for adding a cornerback would be Marcus McCauley a physical open field tackler with a reputation for taking on powerful running backs while also displaying the quickness needed to shut down speedy wide receivers. McCauley is big and fast, however he will be drafted in the 2nd round unfortunately.

NFL teams have a preference for running towards the left side of the defense. The coaching staff should investigate returning Trufant to his former role of left cornerback and swap Jennings to the right side. Hugh Millen has stated on KJR radio that at the end of the season, Jennings weight was in the 160s, a bit slight for a DB trying take on a running back at full steam, hence the move to the other side for him. No truth to the rumor that when Jennings turns sideways, he's mistaken for one of the yardlines. Trufant is in his free agent contract year and there is a need to prepare for the future as Trufant could walk following this season.

Usama Young offers great value as the Seahawks second pick (think trade) in the 4th round. Young is quick, has a solid frame and is a sure-handed tackler. He stands 5-11 weighs 195 and can fly through a 40 yard dash in 4.4 seconds. Young fits the mold for what the Seahawks need in the draft at cornerback. The Seattle Seahawks draft team came away very impressed after a recent visit with Usama. An accomplished defender albeit from a smaller school. Ruskell says that the Hawks are fortunate to have no glaring holes, so they have the opportunity to select players that they can develop into starters.

Usama Young has plenty of game experience since becoming a starter in his freshman season and finishing with 37 starts in 45 games. He is considered to be a shutdown corner and has great special teams potential. Has the Ruskell work ethic desired and demonstrated by him putting forth the extra hours for game preparation.

He could be more aggressive tracking the ball in flight. However he is a smart and instinctive player who can make the quick reads and instantly react to the play. Maintains good position on the receiver in man coverage. Has good recovery speed and turns with precision when looking for the ball. He is very effective in keeping plays in front of him playing in the zone and explodes out of his breaks to stay tight with the receiver.

He needs to build on his strength and play with more aggression when competing for the ball in a crowd. H is not considered a ball hawk. Introduce him to DB specialist coach Jim Mora, and he will develop into a very effective starter in the future.

Meet your new cornerback of the future -- Usama Young.

Gladiator Hawk

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      By GladiatorHawk

In our second installment of Gladiator Profiled for Seahawks, we turn our attention to the big uglies - offensive guard. Games are won and lost in the battle in the trenches. Our once formidable line is now ordinary, talented and young...yes, but in need of another ugly.

The best fit would be Ben Grubbs. Ben has power, intensity and athletic ability to be that next great dominant guard. He has good size at 310 pounds and great quickness. Seahawks expect their blockers to fan out in pass protections more than most teams, and getting to the second level defenders. They must have the athletic ability to excel in pulls and traps. This is where Grubbs is outstanding. Unfortunately he will be Tubbs opponent on game day. Ruskell would do well to trade and move up in the draft and he will, but the target will not be Grubbs. That is a topic for another day.

With Gray and Womack returning, the offensive line has a year to prepare the rookie for action. Argue if you will, however slotting a rookie with 2 other youngsters with only 16 starts between them in the interior, would cause opposing defenses to salivate.

Andy Alleman out Akron offers great value out in the 3rd round. He is projected to be selected at 77-90. He fits the mold for what the Seahawks need in the draft at offensive guard. Like Grubbs, Alleman is a former defensive lineman converted to guard and yes, he brings a little nasty to the line. He is a bit raw, however he will have the time to be groomed for his future role. Another small school prospect, but Ruskell has stated that they have no glaring needs thus providing the options to take players that they could develop into productive starters.

Alleman, developed his game growing up in the hotbed of football factories in Massillon Ohio, has been tabbed as one of the nations workout freaks. Alleman played right guard for Akron, struggled a bit early in 2006 and came on strong in the last half of the season.

Alleman can explode off the line and has the lateral slide agility to get out on the edge for pass protection. He is more of a technique style of drive blocker rather than a mauler. He maintains proper pad level to gain leverage and control his defender. He has good ability to seal off a would be tackler in running plays. Alleman is acutely aware for the blitz and picks up stunts quickly. Effective turning the corner on pulls and seeks out second level defenders as he takes good angles to engage defender.

Andy has only 2 years experience on the offensive side of the ball hence his need for time to develop more. Relies on his strength over technique, he is very strong. Needs to improve his footwork as he crosses his feet some and falls off his block. Needs to work on eliminating false starts. Given a year of good coaching plus mentoring from a grizzled vet Gray, Alleman will become productive at the right guard spot.

Meet your right guard of the future -- Andy Alleman.

Gladiator Hawk

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      By GladiatorHawk

An essential ingredient in Mike Holmgren's version of the West Coast Offense, is that of the tight end position. A star performer is not needed, particularly when you have highly skilled QB, RB, and WRs. So what are the attributes that conspire to create the perfect all downs tight end and keep a defense guessing run or pass?

One of the keys to Holmgren's offensive system is to have the size and physical tools needed to secure the point of attack. Seattle has a diminuative set of receivers, hence a huge target with springs would induce mis-matches for a defense when reeling in the jump ball in the endzone. Coach Walrus prefers a TE who can stretch the field, opening up room for the RB or WRs to work within space in linebacker territory. The guy manning this position must possess sure hands to keep drives alive. An ability to "seal the edge" on the defensive end will enhance the running game. Finally, intelligence is highly sought because the WCO is intricate and challenging to assimilate. Which gladiator possesses these attributes and would be available for Ruskell to draft?

Kevin Boss out of Western Oregon offers great value in the 4th round. He is projected to be selected at 125-135 in the draft. He fits the mold for what is needed at tight end. He has 31 starts to his credit and played basketball in college. One year of grooming by Pollard and Boss will be very productive for years to come.

At 6-7, Boss is a huge target that can reach another 35 inches with his vertical jump. He has proven to be one of the most sure-handed receivers in the draft thus making the most critical of fans to forget about Jerremy Who. He can fly in the 40 yard interval in 4.71 seconds just as Mr. Who. Boss man weighs in at 252 lbs and could add 10 more lbs of bulk without loss of quickness.

Kevin uses his hands effectively to jolt the defender and get a clean release off of the jam. He has large hands, demonstrates great body control and leaping abilty to snag the ball at its high point. He can separate in the short area of the field and has valid speed to elude second level defenders to threaten the secondary. He has the loose hips to weave around linebackers. He has the power to break tackles and the stride to gain yardage after the catch. Very adept at adjusting his routes when the play breaks down. His agility allows him to contort his body to catch errant passes. He is a physical player who will win most fights for the ball in the air. Also, very alert to position himself beyond 1st down markers.

Kevin is very intelligent and needs minimum reps to understand plays. Playing collegiate basketball reduced the off-season training typically needed to learn the finer points of football. Probably needs 1 year of good coaching to improve his route running and become more precise in his cuts. However, he is very effective on his out and crossing patterns. He has recovered from a shoulder injury which caused him to miss 6 games last year, thus lowering his draft status to provide the Hawks great value in the 4th round.

Meet your tight end of the future -- Kevin Boss.

Gladiator Hawk

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