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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Is Luke Kuechly an Option for Seattle at #12?

CBS Sports' Rob Rang -- a northwest native and an analyst with a great perspective on the Seahawks' roster and tendencies -- recently released his latest mock draft and had the Seahawks taking a familiar name with the 12th pick:

Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College: A year ago the Seahawks' starting three linebackers were Aaron Curry (strong side), David Hawthorne (middle) and Leroy Hill (weak side). After trading Curry to Oakland during the season, Seattle doesn't appear particularly concerned about the possibility of losing Hawthorne or Hill to free agency. Perhaps that's because they're targeting the All-American Kuechly, who'd be an upgrade in the middle.

As Rang points out, the Seahawks are slow-playing the linebacker free agency market -- I heard GM John Schneider on the radio today and he pointed out, and I'm paraphrasing, that there are still a lot of linebackers out there unsigned, and that it's tough to gauge their value because none of them have signed anywhere. That changed a bit this afternoon as Stephen Tulloch re-signed with the Lions, but the financials of the five-year deal were not disclosed.

Either way, the point is that if the Seahawks do end up losing both Hill and Hawthorne in free agency and don't make any major moves of their own at that spot, the draft is the likely source for their starting weakside and middle linebacker spots. Kuechly is one of the highest-rated linebackers in the class and wouldn't be a bad pick, but at the #12 spot there should be a lot of options. In this case, Rang has the Hawks overlooking Courtney Upshaw and Melvin Ingram to take the Boston College middle linebacker, a situation that I'm not sure will play out. Time will tell, but it's an interesting thought.

Wondering what's going on on the free agency market? Head over to our StoryStream for NFL Free Agency news and make sure you head over to Field Gulls for the latest on Seahawks football.