NFC West: Damien Woody
Mike Pouncey (15th 2011) and Mike Iupati (17th in 2010) were the only projected guards drafted among the top 17 overall selections in the last 10 drafts.
Before that, Steve Hutchinson was on a short list of highly drafted guards as the 17th player chosen in 2001.
So, how seriously would the Seahawks consider selecting a guard, David DeCastro, with the 12th overall choice this year?
Kevin Calabro, Jim Moore and I spent about 10 minutes Monday discussing that and other issues relating to the Seahawks on 710ESPN Seattle (audio here).
History says 12th overall is earlier than teams select guards, but I would not rule out the possibility.
The Seahawks did not value guards at a high level, in theory, when Mike Holmgren and Ted Thompson decided to select Hutchinson. But they obviously thought Hutchinson was good enough to warrant an exception. On a side note, current Seahawks general manager John Schneider was the Seahawks' player personnel director at the time.
Note: The chart shows guards drafted among the top-17 overall picks since 1995. Robert Gallery and other tackles have moved to guard during their NFL careers. The chart shows only those players drafted as guards. Damien Woody, chosen 17th overall by New England in 1999, was a candidate for inclusion. He was drafted as a center, however.
Seattle might have a shot at only the third-rated tackle -- all the way up at No. 6. That would make it tough for the 49ers and teams picking later in the round to feel as good about their options.
In 2007, the 28th overall choice landed the third-rated tackle, Joe Staley, and the 49ers were happy to draft him. Joe Thomas (third overall to Cleveland), Levi Brown (fifth to Arizona) and Ben Grubbs (29th to Baltimore) were the only other offensive linemen drafted in the first round.
The 49ers' need for a right tackle shouldn't blind them to value. Right tackles are still right tackles, not left tackles or quarterbacks. But finding a good one in the second round could be tougher if a first-round run on the position depletes the pool. Massachusetts' Vladimir Ducasse projects as a possible second-round choice with the size San Francisco might like at the position, but the 49ers aren't picking until 17 choices into the round.
As the chart shows, eight of the 12 playoff teams from last season used starting right tackles drafted in the first two rounds (by other teams in two cases). Brown was the only one chosen in the first half of the first round. The Cardinals drafted him to protect the blind side for left-handed quarterback Matt Leinart, although plans have changed. Brown is moving to left tackle this year, just as Leinart has become the starter following Kurt Warner's retirement.
Mike Sando: Yeah, we can take a look. Carroll insisted on having personnel powers in Seattle largely because he felt doomed by the lack of power he wielded in New England. We can then assume the Patriots didn't always pick the players Carroll would have picked. We might also consider that Carroll has probably changed some since then.
But if nothing else, we can gain some perspective. The Patriots drafted five players in the first round -- all between the 17th and 29th picks -- when Carroll was coach from 1997 to 1999. Then-center Damien Woody, running back Robert Edwards, safety Tebucky Jones, linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer and cornerback Chris Canty were the first-rounders.
The Patriots used 27 total draft choices during that time. Woody and 1999 seventh-rounder Sean Morey eventually earned Pro Bowl honors. There were a few good picks along the way -- running back Kevin Faulk was a second-rounder in 1999 -- but quite a few misses as well.
This file contains a spreadsheet with all 27 players New England drafted during the Carroll years. The chart breaks them down by round and position.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
TAMPA, Fla. -- Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is bouncing from one radio show to another here at the Super Bowl XLIII media center. Someone needs to remind people to lay off his recovering back.
Former teammates and media personalities keep slapping him on the back when they greet him. Damien Woody, his former teammate at Boston College, gave Hasselbeck a strong embrace. Fox's Jay Glazer gave him the hardest slap, but at least he directed the greeting toward the middle of the spine instead of lower.
I've spoken with Hasselbeck a couple times and hope to catch him for an interview as time permits. He's excited about what he's seen so far from new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, even though the change means learning some new terminology.