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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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April 17, 2009 3:04 PM

Tim Ruskell's phone has been quiet about moving down

Posted by Danny O'Neil

President Tim Ruskell conducted a press conference for local reporters, and the first thing he was asked about the likelihood of the draft order changing.

"Those of us at the top don't sense we're going down," Ruskell said. "The phone's not ringing off the hook for that. I would say if there's movement and change you will see it below us, the eight to 10 to 12. Then you might start to see it."

This follows recent history. A team has not traded from outside the top four into the top four since 2003. Ruskell was asked if the biggest reason for that is the size of contracts to those top four picks.

"Absolutely," Ruskell said. "Big divide. Big divide."

But that's not the only thing.

"The other thing that's driving that -- at least this year -- is the consensus that there's really no franchise players in this draft," Ruskell said. "There's not that pick-three or pick-six elite, and I think that's driven a little bit by the fact that you've got a lot of underclassmen that you're guessing what they could get to. Their talent said they could get there, but they just didn't get enough time in college to develop."

Uh-oh. That doesn't sound like a president who's certain he's about to draft the new face of his franchise.

Other highlights from his interview:

  • Q: Are you comfortable with Mark Sanchez's evaluation in terms of his character?

    Ruskell: We are.

  • Q: Where would you say [Matt] Hasselbeck is in his career.

    Ruskell: I still think he's in his prime.

  • Q: With the switch of blocking scheme along the offensive line, do you look at a different type of lineman now?

    Ruskell: You know, a good lineman is a good lineman and we'll always go with that philosophy, but yes, when you incorporate more zone blocking, you want a little bit more athletic guy. You want a guy that's a little bit more flexible and nimble to be able to contact players in space. Because you're going to be asked to be in space. You're going to pull more, you're going to be on the second level more, you're going to be asked to be able to adjust on the backside to people. If you're just a big refrigerator guy that can't move, but is a power guy, you're not going to be as successful so yeah, we'll lean a little bit more toward that type of athlete.

    Q: When you talk about the smaller, more nimble lineman, how does the prototypical left tackle fit into that? Does he fit into a zone-blocking system?

    Ruskell: Yeah, I think that's the one guy that transcends your scheme and your blocking philosophy. Left tackle has to have certain skills, I don't care what your scheme is. He has to be able to pass pro[tect] right off the bat, and that takes a certain level of athleticism -- zone, straight man -- that doesn't matter. For that position, I don't know that it changes that much. Everybody else, you want a more nimble guy. A guy that can pull, a guy that can move around in space a little better.

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