Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (1) catches a touchdown pass over Auburn Tigers cornerback Chris Davis (11) during the second half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Would Seahawks Defy Draft Tradition for Brandin Cooks or Kelvin Benjamin?

Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks has become a hot topic of conversation recently among Seahawks fans and his NFL Draft stock continues to grow in the league as teams are left behind in the wide receiver sweepstakes in free agency.

We know that Pete Carroll and Co. know all about Cooks, who tortured the entire Northwest during his three years of college ball. We also know that the Seahawks sent a scout to OSU’s Pro Day (no surprise due to proximity but still noteworthy because the Hawks are in the market) and came away salivating.

The 40-yard dash is just that when Cooks is involved and the former college star sizzled his way to a 4.33 sprint at his Pro Day, just as he had at the NFL Combine weeks earlier — making him one of the draft’s fastest, if not the fastest receiver available. Questions still revolve around his size, however. At 5-foot-10, he is the shortest of the top-13 or so receivers available according to CBSsports. But there’s no denying that speed and he catches everything. He can also double as a punt returner and we all know the Seahawks are in the market for that piece as well.

Then there’s the other side of the coin, Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin, who has been on many an NFL team’s radar because of his size and ball-skills. Even if Sidney Rice returns as we expect he will, the Seahawks lack a real size advantage on the outside and could use a long-term solution. Benjamin could give them all of that and his stock is high with seemingly unlimited upside at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds. Questions still revolve around his speed (he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds according to his draft profile at NFL.com), but he’d be a scary tandem with Rice on the outside and then legitimate replacement after this year.

Aug 31, 2013; Corvallis, OR, USA; Oregon State Beavers wide receiver Brandin Cooks (7) crosses the goal line for a touchdown against Eastern Washington Eagles in the second half at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Looking forward to May 8, it’s still a month and a half out, but there is certainly increasing interest in Cooks’ services as a Round 1 talent around the NFL, even as we speak. With a detrimental need at either guard or tackle, that pretty much takes the Seahawks out of any blockbuster moves on day one to move up and grab him before the most potential threats — the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers or the New York Jets. Not that the Hawks would make that move anyway.

In fact as we know since Carroll and John Schneider took over, the Seahawks aren’t prone to move up in the draft on day one or day two, but they have never really been in a position with their roster to-do-so before either. If either one of Benjamin or Cooks were to make it out of the first round, the question is: would the Seahawks consider trading up to acquire that piece to add something crucial to their offense?

It doesn’t even have to necessarily be those two pieces either. There’s always the intriguing TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (even with what looks like it will be seven TEs already lined up for the Fall-camp roster) or any number of other WR prospects if they make it past the first round. If the Seahawks get to a point where they feel they have a special fit and he’s close to coming off the board before they can get to him in the second round, will they make a move?

After all, they still have one of the deepest rosters in the entire NFL to bargain-chip with and their one desperate need outside of the OL is at receiver. Fill those two spots and the team could be more complete than it was last season. Sure there’s depth needed along both sides of the line, but that can be addressed later in the draft, unless Jadeveon Clowney falls out of the sky to 32. Just a little joke there.

Seriously though, can you imagine Brandin Cooks and Percy Harvin terrorizing defensive backfields with Doug Baldwin, Sidney Rice, Jermichael Finley and Jermaine Kearse doing their usual damage? Can you imagine Cooks returning punts all day and Harvin hitting them on the kickoff returns every time they score? And I already mentioned the scary pair Benjamin would be on one side with Rice on the other with all the Seahawks’ weaponry.

Would the Seahawks receiving corps be considered “appetizers” then? No disrespect to Golden Tate, but I hardly think so. Actually that probably has more to do with Baldwin and Kearse ranking up in their Madden status… wait, no they didn’t (just rolled my eyes). I digress.

At any rate I bet Pete Carroll, John Schneider and Russell Wilson can all see it. If it’s available as of day two, I bet the Hawks brass will try hard to make it happen, even if they have to buck tradition. Or who knows, maybe they have another WR on their radar for such a move.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Brandin Cooks Kelvin Benjamin Pete Carroll Seahawks Seattle Seahawks

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