Mel Kiper's fifth mock draft for 2011 provides the foundation for discussing how NFC West teams might proceed.
I'll begin with a look at his projection for the Seattle Seahawks, who hold the No. 25 overall choice.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
Kiper's give: There is talk that Seattle would be happy to move off this pick, but if not, Dalton is a guy who makes a lot of sense. A darling of the draft process, Dalton has impressed with his accuracy, smarts, better-than-expected arm strength and the suspicion that he might be as ready or more than any other quarterback in the draft to step in and manage an NFL offense.
Sando's take: Kiper had gone with Jake Locker in this spot for his previous two mocks, but the University of Washington quarterback was not available this time. Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett and Florida offensive lineman Mike Pouncey were Kiper's choices for Seattle in his first two mocks. Mallett doesn't fit the profile from a mobility standpoint. Coach Pete Carroll has always valued at least some movement from his quarterbacks to maximize the running game. Dalton isn't particularly mobile, but he's not a statue, either, and that is important. Overall, it's no upset from a need standpoint if Seattle does take a quarterback at No. 25. I do believe the team wants to move down in theory to add picks and get younger throughout its roster. It's just tough to make a projection without knowing how teams value quarterbacks in this draft. There is no consensus publicly, that's for sure. I tend to think value will pull the Seahawks away from the quarterbacks likely to be available here. We're more apt to see the team draft the best available lineman unless a player at another position -- cornerback, running back, etc. -- falls unexpectedly.