MOBILE, Ala. -- The life-blood of any NFL team is the draft and given the success John Schneider and his staff have enjoyed, the Seattle Seahawks know that better than most.
Seattle has enjoyed remarkable success with Senior Bowl prospects, plucking the likes of Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman and Bobby Wagner after each starred at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in the sleepy southern town of Mobile.
Schneider and his scouting staff are back in Mobile this week for the latest Senior Bowl, with SeahawkFootball.com on hand, as well.
Tuesday served as the kickoff to the annual college football all-star with the South and North team weigh-ins taking place first before practices began.
After taking in all of the minutia of heights, weights, hand width, arm lengths and wingspans, we actually got to watch a little bit of football.
Here are some quick notes on some standouts who would seem to be particularly good fits at positions of need for the Seahawks.
Noah Spence DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky: The 6-3, 254 pound Spence was a dynamo off the edge Tuesday, blowing past the South team's tackles in pass rushing drills while proving surprisingly strong at the point of attack. Frankly, there are few edge rushers in this class who boast Spence's combination of agility, closing speed and power. The Seahawks are hoping to convince outside linebacker Bruce Irvin to return to Seattle but he's likely to generate significant interest in the free agent market. Spence could be a possible replacement, though it would almost surely require the club's first pick, No. 26 overall.
Jarran Reed DT, Alabama: If Spence was the best of the South's defenders Tuesday, Reed was a close second. The powerfully-built Reed may not make it to No. 26 overall but if he does, the 6-3, 313 pounder would certainly help up front against a defensive line which was beaten up by the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs and is facing the possibility of losing starting defensive tackles Brandon Mebane and Ahtyha Rubin in free agency.
Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville: Rankins isn't as stout in the run game as Reed (frankly, few are) but at just under 6-2, 304 pounds, he's also powerfully built and offers quickness as an interior pass-rusher, as well. Given the durability struggles of Jordan Hill, Rankins is an interesting prospect to keep an eye on.
Braxton Miller WR, Ohio State: The Seahawks are still lacking a big receiver to take some of the pressure off of their undersized playmaking duo of Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett and that need will only grow if starting split end Jermaine Kearse is allowed to leave in free agency. At 6-1, 203 pounds, Miller doesn't have elite size but he's simply a different caliber of athlete than the other receivers in Mobile. The body control and soft, reliable hands he demonstrated during Tuesday's practice is all the more impressive given that until this season he'd been a quarterback. Few teams are as willing to draft for traits as the Seahawks, which could make Miller all the more intriguing.
Jason Spriggs OT, Indiana: By now, you're likely screaming, but what about offensive linemen? Fortunately for the Seahawks, there are some intriguing ones playing in this year's Senior Bowl, including Spriggs, a highly athletic former tight end who has been the picture of durability and consistency for the Hoosiers, starting every game the past four years at left tackle. The 6-6, 301 pounder has the frame to get bigger and stronger and is very quick to the second level, showing the agility and balance to handle pass protection against speed rushers.
Le'Raven Clark OT, Texas Tech: Possessing an even better combination of height (6-6), weight (312) and length (36 1/2" arms!), Clark is another tackle to keep an eye on this week. Like Spriggs, Clark's biggest question is the fact that he comes from a relatively pass-happy offense which could make his transition to Seattle's power running game a tough one. That said, Russell Okung made a similar switch after playing his collegiate ball at Oklahoma State.
Joshua Garnett OG, Stanford: Now, we're talking power football... Garnett, a Puyallup native, won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top interior lineman for Stanford and his power (and length) has already been on display in Mobile. The 6-4 (and a 1/2), 317 pounder is quick off the ball and very powerful, knocking defenders onto their heels in the running game.
Vadal Alexander OG/RT, LSU: Alexander is a similar prospect to Garnett in some ways though he's played right tackle for the Tigers, as well. If he remains outside in the NFL, he will be vulnerable to speed rushers, though he possesses the length (34 1/4" arms) to push them wide. He's very powerful as a run blocker, getting a strong initial shove at the line of scrimmage to knock defenders back and is surprisingly quick to the second level.