2012 Kiper mock 3.0: Seahawks thoughts

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
5:04
PM ET
Mel Kiper Jr. is back Insider with his third 2012 NFL mock draft for the first round.

We discussed the previous one before the combine and covered the updated one relating to the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals earlier Thursday.

The Seattle Seahawks are up next. They hold the 12th overall choice.

12. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

Kiper's give: There's no question that Tannehill's stock was helped when a couple of other QBs opted to stay in college, but his growth curve has been exceptional, and he's a guy you draft with a very high ceiling in mind. Good arm, the athleticism you'd expect from a former wide receiver and with very good instincts for the position, some team will take him in the upper half of Round 1. We know Seattle isn't set on a long-term solution at QB, and Tannehill makes sense as a guy that gets a full year of developmental time.

Sando's take: Quarterbacks and pass-rushers are generally the most important players on any team. The Seahawks, while generally laying a solid foundation, need help in both of these critical areas. They're pursuing Peyton Manning and could consider Matt Flynn if Manning signs elsewhere. Adding one of those players would push back the quarterback question at least one season and possibly longer. Seahawks general manager John Schneider, speaking at the combine, had this to say about Tannehill: "The guy was a quarterback in high school, just a football player. First and foremost, that's what we're looking for. Especially at that position. Guys that have always been in the quarterback schools, the special camps, and all that kind of stuff, they make me a little nervous to a certain extent. This guy is a real football player. He played defense. You could see him last year when he stepped in, he just went out and played. He had like this natural toughness about him that the players really rallied around and went on a winning streak and he did a great job. I felt like this year, he had well over 60 drops. He did a nice job."

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