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Monday, April 25, 2011
Blogger mock: Mark Ingram to Seahawks

By Mike Sando

Von Miller, Robert Quinn, J.J. Watt and Mark Ingram landed in the NFC West thanks to my shrewd maneuvering in ESPN.com's Blog Network mock draft for 2011.

I'll break out my selections on a team-by-team basis, with explanations that hopefully will invite your points and counterpoints.

Let's begin in reverse order, with the Seattle Seahawks at No. 25.

The selection: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

Off the board: quarterbacks Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert and Andy Dalton; defensive linemen Marcell Dareus, Nick Fairley, Aldon Smith, J.J. Watt, Ryan Kerrigan, Da'Quan Bowers, Cameron Jordan, Justin Houston, Muhammad Wilkerson, Corey Liuget and Adrian Clayborn; cornerbacks Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara and Jimmy Smith; outside linebackers Von Miller and Robert Quinn; receivers A.J. Green and Julio Jones; and offensive linemen Tyron Smith, Mike Pouncey and Anthony Castonzo.

The thinking: This was a value selection all the way. Seattle has said it wants to trade down from the 25th spot, and that makes sense given how badly general manager John Schneider wants to add young prospects, and lots of them. We could not trade selections in this mock, however. The Seahawks would ideally use this selection for an offensive or defensive lineman if they weren't sold on Jake Locker or any of the other available quarterbacks. I didn't see any highly rated defensive linemen available at No. 25 in this mock (11 were off the board). Taking an offensive lineman still had some appeal, but with Russell Okung entrenched at left tackle and Max Unger projecting at center, Seattle would essentially be selecting a right tackle or guard if it went that route. That could make sense, but I figured Ingram would be the highest-rated player remaining. He would be the first running back off the board. The Seahawks' need for a running back is not immediate, but neither is the team set at the position. Marshawn Lynch is entering the final year of his contract. In 2000, the Seahawks used a first-round choice for Shaun Alexander just as Ricky Watters was entering the final year of his deal. The team sought to acquire a quarterback one year later, landing Matt Hasselbeck from Green Bay.

Odds of this happening: Slim. The Seahawks would be more likely trade back or select a lineman in this spot, in my view. I'm not convinced so many defensive linemen will be off the board at this point. I'm also curious to know how tempted Seattle might be to add a right tackle or guard at this point in the draft. The San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams have targeted bookend tackles in recent drafts.