The Seattle Seahawks will have the No. 12 overall pick in the April 26 National Football League draft after losing a coin flip with the Kansas City Chiefs Friday morning at the league’scombine headquarters in Indianapolis. The Seahawks and Chiefs finished the 2011 season with 7-9 records, so the coin flip was needed to determine draft order.
“We’ll survive with No. 12,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said on the team’s web site. “We would have liked to pick 11, but 12 is right there.”
The Seahawks have never held the 12th overall spot in the draft. In 2003, they owned the 11th spot, using it on Washington State cornerback Marcus Trufant.
A number of outstanding players have been selected at No. 12 overall, including Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, drafted in 2007 by the Buffalo Bills. Lynch led the Seahawks in rushing in each of the past two seasons.
Two Pro Football Hall of Fame players have been selected at No. 12: CB Herb Adderley, by Green Bay, in 1961, and quarterback Joe Namath, by St. Louis, in 1965. Namath never played for the Cardinals, signing instead with the American Football League’s New York Jets.
Neither the Seahawks nor Chiefs called “heads or tails.” The NFL used a coin with Seattle’s logo on one side and Kansas City’s on the other.
In an earlier coin flip to determine the eighth and nine positions in the draft, the Dolphins logo came up, giving Miami the No. 8 slot in the draft, meaning that the Carolina Panthers will select ninth.
Given Seattle’s meager sack total in 2011 (33), most draftniks believe the Seahawks will use the No. 12 pick on a pass rusher. Heading into the combine, the following pass rushers attracted the most attention (listed alphabetically):
Quinton Coples, 6-6, 285, DE, North Carolina: The top senior on this list is exclusively a quickness and power rusher who can play several spots on the defensive line. Scouts question Coples’ intensity on an every-down basis, but is considered strong enough to start in the NFL right now.
Michael Brockers, 6-6, 310, DL, LSU: Brockers capped off a tremendous sophomore season with a big showing in the national title game. Considered an explosive interior lineman who is better at stopping the run than sacking the quarterback. Sophomore started only one year at LSU, but has a lot of upside, scouts say.
Fletcher Cox, 6-4, 295, DL, Mississippi State: Cox is one of the hidden values at the defensive line position. Scouts feel that he’s one of the few available three-down defenders and offers the ability to play as many as four positions on the defensive line. He had 56 tackles and five sacks in 2011.
Whitney Mercilus, 6-4, 265, DE/OLB, Illinois: Considered a well-rounded pass rusher, who can be effective in many different ways; led the nation in sacks in 2011 with 16 and forced fumbles (9). Most common descriptions: “extremely athletic,” “strong,” “sheds blocks while pass rushing.”
Nick Perry, 6-3, 250, DE-OLB, USC: The underclassman, and the Trojans’ defensive lineman of the year, is a top pass rusher who was a finalist for the Hendricks Award, presented to the nation’s top defensive end. Combines quickness and speed. Led the Pac-12 in sacks with 9.5 and tackles for loss with 13.
Devon Still, 6-4, 310, DL, Penn State: Considered the best run stopper in this year’s draft class. Explosive, tough and, according to scouts, does the little things well. One report said, “Still is not a play-maker with eye popping production, rather a steady lineman who won’t make many mistakes.” Had 4.5 sacks in 2011.
Courtney Upshaw, 6-2, 273, DE-OLB, Alabama: Considered the best pass-rusher in Alabama’s suffocating defense. Scouts expect the same from him in the NFL. The question is whether he will play outside linebacker, defensive end, or both. Ranked 14th nationally with 17 tackles for loss.
Over the past 20 years, the following have been the best selections at No. 12, ranked by Pro Bowl appearances:
|1995||Warren Sapp||DT||Tampa Bay||1||12||7|
|1994||Aaron Glenn||DB||N.Y. Jets||1||12||3|
|1997||Warrick Dunn||WR||Tampa Bay||1||12||3|
|2004||Jonathan Vilma||LB||N.Y. Jets||1||12||3|
|2005||Shawne Merriman||LB||San Diego||1||12||3|