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GM profiling: Ruskell and the safeties

4/25/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Seahawks have not drafted a safety since Tim Ruskell arrived as general manager before the 2005 season. Ruskell's teams have drafted only one safety -- Etric Pruitt, by the Falcons with the 186th pick in 2004 -- over the last six drafts.

Why the apparent aversion to the position on draft day? The Seahawks already had two second-round choices, Ken Hamlin and Michael Boulware, at the position when ownership hired Ruskell. And when Ruskell decided to replace them, he used free agency, signing current starters Deon Grant and Brian Russell.

Seattle could seemingly use a prospect to challenge Russell for playing time at the position. Where might the Seahawks look for one?

Since 1992, when Ruskell became college scouting director for Tampa Bay, his teams have generally valued safeties after the second round and often from less prominent conferences. Four of the seven safeties Ruskell's teams have drafted in the first four rounds since 1992 were from teams currently affiliated with the MAC, SWAC and Mountain West.

The chart shows every safety Ruskell's teams have drafted since 1992, sorted by how early his teams drafted each player.