Combine Preview from a Seahawk perspective

The annual NFL Scouting Combine was created in 1982 to provide every NFL team equal opportunity to get their medical and other off-field questions answered. Since, the Combine has morphed into a made-for-television athletic competition that some have dubbed the "Underwear Olympics."

The Seahawks scout and play differently than virtually every other team in the NFL.

Here's what you need to know about their preparation for the Combine and what makes the 2015 crop of talent unique.

10. Over the years, I've discussed plenty of Combine particulars with members of the Seahawks' scouting and coaching personnel and I've never heard of a case where a player was eliminated from their board based on a poor workout. Players can be eliminated based on interviews, however. The Seahawks are willing to overlook some off-field issues if they believe that the player has matured but in a class with as many character red-flags as this one, the mental, character and emotional tests administered will be just as important as any physical tests from a Seahawks perspective.

9. With Paul Richardson characterized by GM John Schneider as 50-50 to start next season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, Seattle could once again be on the market for a vertical threat. Two early round candidates to keep in mind for Seattle are Auburn's Sammie Coates and Ohio State's Devin Smith. I'm also high on Southern Cal's Nelson Agholor, Kansas State's Tyler Lockette and Duke's Jamison Crowder because they are not only fast but very elusive and are experienced, productive returners.

8. Fresh off of the first Super Bowl victory in franchise history, Schneider and Pete Carroll each took questions from the media at last year's Combine. It will be interesting to see if either or both return to the podium this year.

7. Should either field questions, one of the topics will, of course, be Marshawn Lynch. Unless Lynch suddenly alerts the Seahawks of his intentions for next year, Seattle may have to approach the 2015 draft as if he isn't available, though he is in under contract for another year. The reason why Seattle may want to prepare as if he isn't part of the roster is that the 2015 class of running backs is as good as I've seen. No rookie is going to replace Beast Mode but Seattle can't afford to ignore the position if there is any question as to Lynch's plans.

6. While running back is a relative strength of the 2015 class, one position that is lacking is tight end. Minnesota's redshirt sophomore Maxx Williams is the only tight end I have with a top 64 grade. An upgrade over Luke Willson isn't likely to come via the draft, though there are some intriguing free agent options potentially available.

5. Speaking of free agency, there is already some buzz building around cornerback Byron Maxwell. He could very well prove the toughest of Seattle's pending free agents to retain. Despite his struggles in the Super Bowl, the Seahawks remain quite confident in Tharold Simon as an outside corner opposite Richard Sherman but reinforcements may be needed at nickel given that the broken arm suffered by Jeremy Lane in the Super Bowl looks like a complicated recovery. A few shorter, quicker and highly aggressive corners to keep an eye in 2015 that would seem to fit Seattle include a trio of Pac-12 standouts, including Washington's Marcus Peters, Oregon State's Steven Nelson and even injured Oregon Duck Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.

4. Seattle is known for its surprises on draft day and nowhere is that more obvious than with their selections along the offensive line. Assistant head coach and run game guru Tom Cable holds a lot of sway in grading the big guys for the Seahawks. Among some of the players with the size, agility and nastiness that he's shown a preference for in the past would seem to include Miami's Ereck Flowers, Oklahoma's Daryl Williams and Miami's Jon Feliciano, among others.

3. Teams from all over the league will try to duplicate Seattle's incredible success with middle and late round selections. Imitation is a great form of flattery but don't expect other clubs to suddenly "steal" Seattle's style because their approach isn't as simple as just looking for arm length, agility or competitiveness - those these traits are some of the characteristics that the Seahawks like.

2. Like every other team in the league, the Seahawks are intrigued by pure athleticism. There should be some spectacular efforts this year, though some of the players I expect to put up some of the splashiest performances - Mississippi State LB Benardrick McKinney and Oklahoma DT Jordan Phillips might be more workout warriors than elite football players.

1. Some "diamond in the rough" types that the Seahawks and other clubs would be wise to keep an eye on, on the other hand include Northern Iowa running back David Johnson, Hobart offensive lineman Ali Marpet and Norfolk State edge rusher Lynden Trail.

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