2013 NFL Mock Draft: Seahawks targeting a pass rusher in the 1st round?

Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Seattle had a 2012 rookie that led first-year players in sacks, but will they continue to go that route early on this year?

The Seattle Seahawks drafted DE Bruce Irvin out of West Virginia in 2012 with their first round pick, and he led rookies in sacks with 8.5 last year. Would they be willing to spend yet another top pick on a pass rusher? It's not that crazy of an idea.

Despite the fact that Seattle has obvious needs at defensive tackle, wide receiver, guard, outside linebacker and possibly tight end, the Seahawks have another potential glaring hole: finding a replacement for Chris Clemons. After tearing his ACL against the Washington Redskins in the playoffs, there is a good chance that Clemons will not be ready for the start of the regular season.

For more on the Seattle Seahawks and their 2013 NFL Draft needs, be sure to head over to Field Gulls .

As the top player on the defensive line for Seattle, this could be a major blow for however long Clemons is on the sidelines. Besides that, Clemons will be 32 next season. The DE on the other side, Red Bryant, has no real pass rushing skills to think of, and Irvin still has a ways to go to be a three-down player.

For that reason, Rob Rang mocked Texas defensive end Alex Okafor to Seattle in his latest mock draft:

The risky (and ridiculed) selection of undersized pass rusher Bruce Irvin paid off for as the former West Virginia standout led all rookies with 8.5 sacks in 2012. His speed off the edge could be complemented with a more refined pass rusher like Okafor, whose greater length, strength and hand technique could make him a suitable complement as the team adjusts for life with top pass-rusher Chris Clemons recovering with a torn ACL.

While it may not fit the most glaring need for the Seahawks, it certainly could turn out to be a major need if Clemons misses extended time.

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