Drafted in the third round (85th overall) by the Seahawks, Mebane became a standout for Cal in 2004 (his sophomore season) when he started the last nine games of the season. 2005 saw Mebane named his team’s most valuable defensive lineman, and the accolades spread to the conference as well – he was named to the All Pac-10 team for the first time. He repeated this honor in 2006, but it was his Senior Bowl performance that really caught the attention of pro scouts.
NFLDraftScout.com reported that new Tampa Bay defensive line coach (and former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator) Larry Coyer was very happy with Mebane’s performance during the practice sessions. “[He has] a bunch of power,” Coyer said after the North team’s January 23rd practice. “He’s got a great center of gravity, gets his hips under him and he understands pass rushing. He understands how to use his hips. I’m shocked by him and how quick he is off the ball. He showed great intensity.”
During his Cal career, Mebane recorded 109 tackles (60 solo) and 14.5 sacks for -87 yards. His primary task with the Seahawks will be to provide valuable run-stopping ability in the middle of the defensive line. Seattle’s line is talented and versatile, but Marcus Tubbs is the only real run-stopper. This was made graphically apparent during the 11 games Tubbs missed in 2006 with a knee injury. In those games, Seattle gave up an average of 65 more rushing yards than when Tubbs was healthy. Mebane can provide depth in a rotation, and might see starting time if Tubbs has difficulty recovering from microfracture surgery.
Seattle’s rookies are expected to report to the team’s 2007 training camp on Thursday, July 26 at Seahawks HQ in Kirkland, WA. Veterans are required to report two days later.