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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Analyzing McShay mock: Seahawks

By Terry Blount

The Seattle Seahawks have the 32nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft after winning the Super Bowl. Selecting an offensive lineman, a big-bodied wide receiver or a defensive lineman would make sense for the Seahawks.

ESPN Insider draft analyst Todd McShay knows who he would pickInsider if he were making the decision for the Seahawks, and it’s a name you’ve seen before as a potential pick for Seattle.

In McShay’s draft moves, he would select Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuittin the final pick of the first round. This is becoming a popular choice for the Seahawks. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had Seattle picking Tuitt in his mock draft 4.0 last week.

Tuitt would fill a need for the Seahawks, who had to release defensive ends Chris Clemons and Red Bryant for salary-cap reasons. Both of them signed with Jacksonville. Seattle tried to sign veteran defensive end Jared Allen, but couldn’t match the money the Chicago Bears offered him.

Tuitt is a powerful defensive end at 6-foot-6, 305 pounds, much like Bryant. He also can play inside. Tuitt is viewed as a strength-oriented end who can rush the passer, but also act as an off-tackle run-stuffer.

Tuitt had 21 sacks in his three seasons for the Fighting Irish. His 12 sacks as a sophomore in 2012 were second best in school history to Justin Tuck’s 13 sacks in 2003. Tuitt dropped to 7 sacks last season, but was coming off hernia surgery.

Here are the questions for the Seahawks. Is Tuitt good enough that they pass on taking an offensive lineman, something the team clearly needs? Will they take Tuitt if Florida State receiver Kelvin Benjamin falls to them? McShay doesn’t think he will. He had Benjamin going four picks earlier to Carolina.

Tuitt is a powerful athlete who can outmuscle many offensive linemen, but some scouts claim he doesn’t always play with the same intensity.