RENTON, Wash. – The Detroit Lions are reportedly close to doing the Seattle Seahawks a favor.
Several media outlets are reporting that the Lions and Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford are on the verge of agreeing to a contract, thereby cementing Stafford as the No. 1 pick in this weekend’s NFL draft.
What that would mean for the Seahawks is that they would have only two teams separating them from their most important offseason decision. The Seahawks hold the No. 4 choice in the first round of the weekend draft, and it’s safe to say that they’re a bit curious about what’s going to happen with Nos. 1 through 3. Team president Tim Ruskell said Thursday that he’s heard rumors about how the first three picks might shake down, but he does not know what to believe.
“As you know, there’s a lot of lying going on right now,” Ruskell said during an afternoon press conference. “I can call (other teams) right now, and they’ll tell me something that they want me to believe. … I don’t have a great feel for how (the first three picks are) going to go.”
The choice at No. 4 might not be as much about what Seattle decides to do as it is what direction the other three teams go.
The Lions are expected to knock one name off the Seahawks’ wish list by signing Stafford. Then Seattle has to wait on No. 2 St. Louis and No. 3 Kansas City before making a decision.
The top three names on the Seahawks’ list appear to be USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry. There is a realistic scenario that would leave all three players on the board when Seattle picks.
St. Louis, with the No. 2 overall pick, is reportedly leaning toward Baylor offensive lineman Jason Smith. While the Seahawks wouldn’t mind adding a young lineman to eventually take over for Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones, they don’t appear to be targeting Smith.
That leaves Kansas City, which recently acquired veteran quarterback Matt Cassel and already has a young go-to receiver in Dwayne Bowe. The Chiefs appear likely to draft a defender and could pick Curry at No. 3.
A less enticing scenario for Seahawks fans would involve Kansas City trading the pick, presumably to one of the quarterback-desperate teams such as Denver, Minnesota, Washington and the New York Jets that might want a shot at Sanchez.
As long as the Rams take Smith second overall, Seattle should have at least two of its targeted players on the board when the No. 4 pick comes up.
Curry is attractive because he could step in and play right away, filling the shoes of departed veteran Julian Peterson at outside linebacker.
Crabtree is in a cautious financial situation, in that the Seahawks already have a lot of money tied up in veteran receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Deion Branch and Nate Burleson.
Sanchez could be a good fit because of the Seahawks’ situation at quarterback. Matt Hasselbeck, 33, is coming off a season that saw him miss nine games with a back injury.
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