Mel Kiper's third mock draft for 2011 provides the foundation for discussing how NFC West teams might proceed this offseason.
I'll begin with a look at his projection for the Seattle Seahawks, who hold the No. 25 overall choice.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
Kiper's give: After a season widely considered disastrous in terms of his overall draft stock, I have Locker bouncing back some during the lead-up to the draft. He was impressive enough at the combine, proved that he's every bit the athlete that Cam Newton is (they ran identical times in the 40), has a big-time arm, and just needs to prove that his accuracy is something that will develop when he has time to throw. This isn't an endorsement of Locker as a guy who should step in and start for the Seahawks if Matt Hasselbeck isn't back in 2011, but even if Seattle makes a move for a short-term answer at quarterback, Locker could be hard to pass up if Pete Carroll thinks he's a solution for the long run.
Sando's take: Kiper had the Seahawks taking quarterback Ryan Mallett in his first mock and offensive lineman Mike Pouncey in his second. He's on the right track from a need standpoint. The big question here is whether concerns over Locker's accuracy will disqualify him from consideration in the first round. Every NFL system demands accuracy from its quarterback. Seattle's new offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, has roots in a West Coast offense. West Coast offenses traditionally emphasize pinpoint throws. Re-signing Matt Hasselbeck could buy the Seahawks another year at the position. They could also address the position by trade. I'll have more on the subject in a piece later Thursday revisiting Kevin Kolb's viability in the NFC West.