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News » Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-04-27

Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-04-27

Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-04-27

The Seattle Seahawks used a bit of a cloak-and-dagger approach in successfully securing their No. 1 priority in the draft, Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry, with the team's No. 4 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft.

Curry was considered the best overall and safest prospect by several draft experts heading into this year's draft, but Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell was unsure if Curry would drop to the team's spot.

In order to throw other teams off the scent, Ruskell downplayed Seattle's interest in Curry heading into the draft, even canceling a planned visit by Curry to the team's Renton practice facility at the last minute.

Ruskell's smokescreen worked, as many believed Seattle would select Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez or Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree, when Curry was the target all along.

"There was a little bit of that going on," Ruskell said of the Seahawks downplaying their interest in Curry. "What we did is we sent our contingent of scouts there. We talked to him at the combine. No red flags were coming up that we had to pursue further. Because we had him scheduled to come in and then we said, 'You know what, we're good.'

"And I think that played to our advantage."

In Curry the Seahawks got a talented athlete and high-energy player who can come in and fill a role on defense vacated when Pro Bowler Julian Peterson was traded to Detroit in March.

And with the Seahawks rescinding their $8.3 million franchise designation on linebacker Leroy Hill, making him an unrestricted free agent, Curry provides security should Seattle not sign Hill.

"There really was just no doubt about his character and his personality, and his competitiveness," Seahawks coach Jim Mora said of Curry. "He's a top-flight kid, and he will really add a lot to this organization both on the field and off the field and in the locker room. It's a heck of a pick for us."

In addition to Curry, the Seahawks added depth on the offensive line by trading up to the second round and selecting Oregon offensive lineman Max Unger. Seattle again traded up to the third round to select cat-quick receiver Deon Butler from Penn State.

The Seahawks finished with seven picks overall, selecting Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel in the fifth round, and picking up Rutgers safety Courtney Greene, Oregon defensive end Nick Reed and tight end Cameron Morrah from California with the team's three compensatory picks in the seventh round.

Overall, Seattle filled in depth in areas the team believed were not necessarily needs but priorities. And the Seahawks set themselves up for the future by trading the team's second-round pick, No. 37 overall, to Denver for the Broncos' first-round pick in 2010. Denver selected Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith with the pick.

Seattle now has two first-round picks in the 2010 draft, which should provide the Seahawks with enough ammo if they want to go after a quarterback next year to groom as a replacement for Matt Hasselbeck.

BEST PICK: Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry. He was perhaps the best player in the draft, and Seattle got good value for him with the No. 4 overall pick. And Curry is a guy who will come in and contribute right away for Seattle, playing strong-side outside linebacker in Seattle's 4-3 scheme.

COULD SURPRISE: Penn State receiver Deon Butler. At 5-10, 181 pounds, Butler is small. But he ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the combine and finished his career at Penn State as the school's all-time receptions leader, breaking former Seahawk Bobby Engram's record. Scouts compare Butler to Engram, and believe he has the quickness and hands to be a good slot receiver in the league.

A closer look at the Seahawks' picks:

Round 1/4 - Aaron Curry, LB, 6-2, 254, Wake Forest

Even though some scouts considered Curry a reach as top-five pick because he's not noted as a pass rusher, the Seahawks see him as a perfect fit for their scheme because of his ability to play in space, play physical against the run and rush the passer as a blitzer.

Round 2/49 - Max Unger, C/G, 6-5, 309, Oregon

A versatile offensive lineman who can play anywhere on the line, Seattle liked Unger enough to move up in the second round, trading their third-round pick, the 68th overall, and their fourth-round pick, the 105th overall, for the Chicago Bears' 49th overall pick.

Round 3/91 - Deon Butler, WR, 5-10, 182, Penn State

Butler finished as the all-time leader at Penn State with 179 catches, breaking the record of 167 set by former Seahawk Bobby Engram. Some have compared the speedy Butler to Engram in terms of his ability to work the slot position and get in and out of breaks.

Round 6/178 - Mike Teel, QB, 6-3, 225, Rutgers

A three-year starter, Teel struggled early in his senior season, but after Rutgers started 1-5, Teel helped his team finished the season with seven consecutive wins, throwing 22 touchdowns during that span. Teel can be an accurate passer at times and has good size, but has been inconsistent during his college career.

Round 7/245 - Courtney Greene, SS, 6-0, 200, Rutgers

Greene is a big hitter who played free safety and strong safety in college. Greene was a first-team All-Big East selection in 2008, and topped 100 tackles twice in his first three seasons as a starter. Greene also was durable, starting 51 consecutive games.

Round 7/247 - Nick Reed, DE, 6-2, 245, Oregon

Reed has a good motor and is considered a pass-rushing specialist. He finished with a school-record 29.5 sacks, which ranks fourth in Pac-10 history. His 51.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage also is a school record.

Round 7/248 - Cameron Morrah, TE, 6-3, 244, California

A good athlete who can make plays downfield, Morrah could have used another year in school, but for personal reasons decided to declare himself eligible for the draft. He managed just 41 catches in 33 games for the Bears. He started all 13 games as a junior, finishing second on the team with 27 receptions for 326 yards, including eight for touchdowns.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 27, 2009

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