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NFL Draft 2012: Mel Kiper Talks Quinton Coples, Courtney Upshaw & Other Seahawks Targets

Just about every mock draft released these days has the Seattle Seahawks selecting a defensive player in the first round. Rather it be a defensive lineman, linebacker or secondary player, defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is likely to have a talented young rookie to work with next season. It could be a big step in the Seahawks reaching the playoffs once again in 2012.

Mel Kiper recently partook a long Q&A with various football writers discussing a wide range of topics. He mentioned numerous prospects the Seahawks have been linked to in recent weeks, including Courtney Upshaw and Quinton Coples.

Kiper likes Coples, but he explained why he dropped a bit in his latest mock draft:

Quinton Coples has come down a bit, just because he wasn't productive from the start to the finish, and he doesn't have the great wingspan of some of the other defensive linemen that have come out with his hype of height at 6'6″, so he's dropped a bit.

He also addressed Upshaw and what a few scouts don't like about him:

Upshaw is a good football player. I think people just don't know where to play him. You talk to some teams, they say, well, he's only a defensive end. He's 280, he can only be a defensive end. Then others say, well, he's 6'1″ and a half and he's got short arms, he can't be a defensive end, he's going to have to be a linebacker. But he's 280 and he's not that explosive.

I compare him to LaMarr Woodley. LaMarr Woodley wasn't even a first round draft choice himself. So this notion that everybody loved LaMarr Woodley is ridiculous; it wasn't true. LaMarr Woodley didn't go until the second round.

It will be interesting to see if Seattle does indeed go the defensive route in the first round or if they throw a curveball and pick up a wide receiver or quarterback. You just never know with this team, and there are always a few clubs that like to throw a curveball on the first night in New York City.

For more on the Seahawks, head over to Field Gulls.