With the inevitable departure of David Hawthorne and who really knows what's happening with Leroy Hill, the Seahawks are going to revamp the linebacking corps. K.J. Wright had a solid rookie season and may move into the middle to replace Hawthorne. And, as always, the Seahawks are most likely looking to add depth on the defensive line.
A linebackers success is directly related to the success of the defensive line in front of him. A porous defensive line can make even the greatest of linebacking corps look ordinary. Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs look positively pedestrian when the Bears front four is banged up or lacking in depth any given year. The defensive line doesn't eat up blockers, and offensive linemen are given a free path to the linebackers.
First guy I've looked at is Mychal Kendricks, a inside linebacker from Cal. Cal had probably the best back seven on defense in the Pac 12, but a defensive front that was too small and not stout enough to run a 3-4 hurt them against power running teams. You could argue that Kendricks wasn't the best linebacker on the team, that being D.J. Holt, but Holt will be playing his entire NFL career in a 3-4, Kendricks will be in the 4-3. Kendricks is fast, smart, plays extremely hard and is an incredible tackler. On the downside, he's very small and can get blown clear out of plays. Pete Carroll has put an emphasis on size when he rebuilt the Seahawks laughably small defense, which makes me think that Kendricks is not the fit the Seahawks are looking for. Regardless, I loved watching his tape, because he is a 240 pound guy who plays like he's 260 and hits like his 280. Stanford, which has one of the biggest, strongest and best offensive lines in football, blew him up, a lot, in the run game though.
A couple defensive linemen to think about because YouTube just took a crap on me. Michael Brockers from LSU and Devin Still from Penn State. Devin Still is a monster. He's big and strong and really took a leap forward his senior year. He's still a little raw and needs to work on all the little things guys like him need to work on. Here's a good breakdown on Still: http://seahawksdraftblog.com/devon-still-dt-penn-state-tape-review
In regards, to Brockers, who looks like a mid first rounder. I wasn't nearly as impressed. He is your standard LSU defensive linemen, great effort, big, fast, but benefits from a defense that resembles a tornado. I watched him against Ole Miss, not a great team by any stretch, and nearly every time he was double teamed he was either blown off the ball, or pancaked. He resembled Colin Cole in 2009, rather than hold his own, he elected to sink and try and slide away from the blockers, and every time he tried to stick in his gap, he'd get crushed. And this was Ole Miss. Yikes.
More prospects tomorrow, maybe offensive linemen and my longstanding love affair with David Decastro.