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Seahawks Podcast: 2012 NFL Draft Talk with Derek Stephens & Davis Hsu

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Happy Monday everyone - to start you off this week, we've got a podcast for you featuring Derek Stephens and Davis Hsu, with talk about the upcoming NFL Draft, players and positional groups the Seahawks might have or should have interest in.

In case you are a newcomer here, Derek, in addition to writing here at Field Gulls, is an expert draft contributor at First Round Exchange‬, a contributor at NFL.com's NFL Blog Blitz, has scouted for Lindy's Sports Pro Football Draft Guide and provided player draft analysis at NFLDraftScout.com while working closely with Rob Rang. He also has his own draft site in development - ScoutTheDraft.com - that I'll be sure to point you towards whenever there are updates.

Derek has done a series here at Field Gulls called the Rookie Report that you should definitely check out. Davis has a wide focus of subjects here, but he mostly likes to write about the big picture stuff like salary cap management, roster building and sustainment, draft strategy - all that good stuff. The two of them together, talking draft, makes for a pretty interesting listen and is definitely informative.

Here is Davis' introduction to the series, to give you a better idea of what to expect:

It is always great to talk football with Derek Stephens. Whenever I bring up a prospect with him, eight out of ten times, depending on how deep we are into the season- he has watched this player and has an opinion on him. This is a more formalized representation of one of these conversations.

In these Seahawks targeted podcasts - we cover a lot of the pass rushers in the 2012 Draft: Quinton Coples, Nick Perry, Whitney Mercilus, Andre Branch, Jared Crick, Billy Winn, Chandler Jones, Vinny Curry, Cam Johnson, Shea McClellin and Jack Crawford. Obviously, if you are an NFL fan, there is good stuff for you because your team is likely interested in many of the same players. We also move toward several OLB (both pass rushing and more traditional LB) including: Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram, Ronnell Lewis, Bruce Irvin, Josh Kaddu, Zach Brown, Lavonte David, Sean Spence and more.

One thing about Derek, he does not care what other draft experts think about a player. Just because ten other analysts like a guy in Round One - he might not touch a guy until Round Four. Additionally, he likes players that others criticize because of their measureables. You may or may not agree with where Derek rates a player, but he is consistent to his framework below:

We talk about this in the podcasts, but Derek looks at four things when evaluating a player (character and measurables are not on the list):

1) Consistency (two years of good football, game tape)
2) Fundamentals (feet, hands, upright or low, weight transfer, etc...)
3) Awareness
4) Decision Making

Lastly, the Combine and All-Star Games are low on Derek's list when compared to how a player has played in real games over the last two years. Height, weight and 40 times to him are not as important as football speed and football plays. Awareness, instincts and making football plays.

Hope you enjoy these podcasts! (Check out the link after the jump...)

-Field Gulls Draft Podcast featuring Derek Stephens and Davis Hsu, Part One-