Worth the risk? NFL Prospects to Ponder

The Seahawks and every other NFL team will travel next week to Indianapolis for the annual Scouting Combine. There the scouts, coaches will have the opportunity to evaluate a 2015 class boasting plenty of talent - but carrying plenty of cause for concern, as well.

The theme of the 2015 NFL Draft is going to be Boom or Bust, as this is a draft class boasting legitimate talent but plenty of character concerns.

As most of the NFL shifts to a more pass-oriented offenses, quarterbacks, receivers and cornerbacks have never been more valuable. It just so happens that the most gifted prospect at each of those positions in 2015 carry red-flags of this sort.

Florida State's Jameis Winston is, of course, the headliner. And for good reason; he's a potential star with a combination of size, strength, arm talent, guts in the pocket and deep accuracy that makes Ben Roethlisberger such an easy comparison.

Winston comes with a litany of off-field concerns, not the least was a year-long sexual assault investigation that made some glad that the Heisman Trophy and National Championship winner left town early.

Oklahoma's 6-5, 225 pound Dorial Green-Beckham isn't Calvin Johnson. He isn't A.J. Green. He isn't Julio Jones. The dynamic Missouri transfer pictured above is a combination of all three - showing the acceleration, body control and hands to become a legitimate No. 1 target in the NFL. He's been either arrested or investigated for drugs, theft and assault over the past three years.

Of course, many local fans know all about Washington cornerback Marcus Peters. Trust your eyes, Seattle, Peter is a legitimate starting NFL corner with the strength, length and physicality to handle coverage and run support duties. The feistiness with which he plays transferred to many times to disagreements with coaches, of course, and he was dismissed from the team by first-year Washington coach Chris Peterson.

I spoke to Peters yesterday and confirmed one significant difference between he, Winston and Green-Beckham, however - Peters has never been in trouble with the law.

(Further, he'll be working out fully at the Combine, had a "wonderful conversation with Coach Peterson last week" and will be allowed to work out at Washington's Pro Day April 2. Read the entire article at CBSSports and NFLDraftScout here. )

These three are only the most well-known of the characters that Pete Carroll and John Schneider and the Seahawks will be investigating next week at the 2015 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Another prospect that might need further investigation is Eastern Washington safety Tevin McDonald, a transfer from UCLA whose brother T.J. was coached by Carroll at Southern Cal (and now plays for the St. Louis Rams) and whose father is Tim McDonald, the former San Francisco 49ers standout.

It isn't just Winston at Florida State that requires a closer look at more than just his game tape. Cornerback Ronald Darby and running back/safety Karlos Williams have been investigated for serious issues, as well.

Carroll has a passion for helping kids from rough pasts and if he finds a diamond in the rough worth polishing, he'll be interested. Schneider and his staff do a terrific job of identifying and grading the exact strengths and weaknesses of the players, helping Seattle's coaching staff pick the players who fit best in its unique schemes.

While some might think the Seahawks are a bit behind in the scouting process because of the Super Bowl, think again. While the team was in Arizona for the big game, the scouting staff had their first wave of draft meetings. The board that could help Seattle get back to their third consecutive Super Bowl is already being built.

If the players listed above don't impress in interviews, their names may be scratched off the list before the hype of "draft season" really even gets going.

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