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Seahawks reach for likely new ORT in Carpenter

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted April 28, 2011 @ 10:58 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

After failing to trade down — which is what Seattle GM John Schneider strongly suggested would happen — there are bound to be more than a few Seahawks fans who will be down on the Seahawks after their surprising selection of Alabama OT James Carpenter with the 25th pick in the first round.

Carpenter certainly fills a major need.

A starter the last two seasons at Alabama who performed admirably at the Senior Bowl, he figures to step right in at right tackle as a replacement for Sean Locklear, a free agent not expected to stick in Seattle.

But the big question a lot of people are no doubt asking is whether or not there were better tackles, such as Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi and Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod, who would have more adequately filled the bill.

Carpenter was rated as the sixth best tackle by PFW. One major strong point that no doubt appealed to the Seahawks was his durability. Carpenter did not miss a college start — a fact worth noting considering the major health problems Seattle has had on the offensive line the last couple of seasons (10 different starting combinations last season).

The hope is that 2010 first-rounder Russell Okung and Carpenter will give the Seahawks a couple of dependable bookends on the offensive line for a long time to come.

Carpenter is considered a good athlete with excellent technique. He is very light on his feet, and he played against quality competition in the SEC.

He also could play inside in a pinch and conceivably could end up starting at one of the guard spots.

The Seahawks’ hierarchy has indicated for weeks that fortifying their lines was a top priority.

This is the first step along those lines, albeit not a very sexy one.

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