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Undrafted Free Agents to Watch 2011 - DT Martin Parker, Richmond

I've talked about Richmond DT Martin Parker here before and mentioned that he seems to be a very good fit for the Seahawks, who entirely ignored their interior defensive line in this year's Draft. He's an athletic (4.92 40) high-motor, quick off the snap 3-tech with an 80 inch wingspan that could come in as versatile depth and has the potential to develop into a starting caliber defensive linemen. Parker was a First Team All American for Richmond his senior year and earned First Team All-Conferance honors each of his four seasons at school. He had 96 tackles, 5.5 sacks in 2010 and 13.5 tackles for a loss. He was also named the MVP of the East-West Shrine Game with a pair of sacks and a forced fumble.

The Seahawks depth on the defensive line is very thin and if the Hawks see things in Parker that they like I see it as highly probable he'd sign with Seattle. Really, the Seahawks are a dream come true for any undrafted free agent defensive tackle -- Colin Cole is hurt and is likely to miss the beginning of the season and Brandon Mebane is a free agent that has a good chance of leaving. Past that the Hawks have Kentwan Balmer and a few more bubble players. If I'm a free agent, I'm looking to come to Seattle because I know I have a legitimate chance to make the roster. 

His primary position would be the undertackle spot manned last year by Brandon Mebane, but he has experience at DE and the NT spot too. This versatility would give him a chance to earn snaps at several positions. Draft scout Tom Melton interviewed him before the East-West Shrine game and Parker touched on his ability to play at basically any position on the line. 

"I can play wherever any team wants me to play. I know a lot of people say that because they think that it will help them sound good, but I've played DE, 3 tech, nose guard, 3-4 DE and I've been successful at all of those positions in my four years at Richmond. If a team drafts me and wants me to go play 3-4 DE then I will go out there and I promise you I will be one of the best players out there. I've been playing 3 technique for four years at Richmond, so I know I can hold my own at that position."

At 6'2, 303 he's a little undersized but if he could add some bulk without losing his quickness he could have a chance in the NFL.  I've embedded some video of him from the East-West Shrine Game, via Aaron Aloysius. It doesn't feature a lot of snaps, but it can give you an idea of how he won the MVP for that game. Check it out below, his segment starts at 2:10. Also, you can see his Combine workout here. 

Keep his name in your head; I, for one, am really excited about the crop of UDFAs this season - I think the way the Seahawks roster looks and the way they're looking to build it and get younger, several of these guys could catch on with the team long term. I'll be following up with a few more guys to keep an eye on in the next few days.  hours.

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