Seattle Seahawks Draft 2012: 5 Most Important Areas to Address
The Seattle Seahawks took leaps and bounds of progress over the later games of the 2011 season and wound up missing the playoffs by only one game, despite their poor start.
With a superstar running back in Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks were able to edge out some games with the aggression of "Beast Mode" and their defense. With the 2012 season looming ahead, the 'Hawks have a lot of promise and if they improve the right areas, they could be looking at a deep playoff run in the near future.
Tarvaris Jackson was a bit underrated last season, as the sixth year quarterback threw for over 3,000 yards and completed just over 60 percent of his passes despite a decidedly mediocre receiving core.
However, when all is said and done, a team in today's game can only go as far into the playoffs as their quarterback can take them. Tarvaris Jackson just is not that kind of a leader.
Jackson should not be disrespected or dismissed for his contributions last season, he merely is not an elite quarterback in a league where they appear to be emerging left and right.
If the Seahawks need an elite quarterback, or at least a quarterback with elite potential, they should consider going after either Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn first.
When looking at the draft and their current position in the first round (No. 12), though, they should consider the following prospects (leaving Luck and RGIII out because there is no way they're still available):
Round 1: Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Round 2: Nick Foles, Arizona
Round 4: Brock Osweiler, Arizona State
With Sydney Rice injured throughout the 2011 season, Doug Baldwin held the fort with the help of Golden Tate towards the end of the year. The efforts of Baldwin and Tate were admirable, but both receivers are undersized and were never a consistent threat to the defense.
Even with the return of Rice, the Seahawks could use some physicality from the receiver position to improve both edge blocking and the threat of the vertical pass.
The top three attainable, wise picks are as follows (The Seahawks should not gamble in the first round on a receiver):
Round 2: Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech
Round 3: Dwight Jones, UNC
Round 4: Marvin McNutt, Iowa
The Seattle Seahawks defensive line was actually one of the strongest features of the defense with only one gaping flaw: the pass rush. With a pedestrian 33 sacks on the year, the Seahawks defensive line featured three players over 300 pounds, which is part of why they only sacrificed 3.8 yards per carry on the ground (fourth in the NFL).
With the same giants in the middle, Seattle could use a dynamic edge rusher for that extra dimension of dominance. They should consider:
Round 1: Quinton Coples, UNC
Round 2: Cam Johnson, Virginia
Round 3: Malik Jackson, Tennessee
This year's crew of linebackers for the Seahawks may not have boasted any big names after the departure of Aaron Curry, but the linebackers held their own as David Hawthorne in particular stepped up, shoring up the middle of the field with 115 tackles on the year.
The outside linebacker position held by the rookie K.J. Wright was spotty at times; at the very least, Wright could use some competition in training camp. Linebackers are injured incredibly often in the NFL, so drafting a potential starter or first backup in the middle rounds would be wise for Seattle.
The following players could strengthen the storm in the rainy city:
Round 3: Nigel Bradham, Florida State
Round 4: Brandon Lindsey, Pittsburgh
Round 5: Tank Carder, TCU
Marshawn Lynch was a man among boys throughout the 2011 season as "Beast Mode" rained Skittles down upon opposing teams after a brief slow start. Oftentimes the offensive line was capable of getting an initial push, but left it up to Lynch after a yard or two to break free, which did incidentally lead to his highlight plays of the year.
However, for Lynch's health and the quality of the rushing attack, better for him to run untouched than break three tackles.
If the Seahawks look into drafting a quicker offensive tackle who can get to the second level, Lynch might be running free much more often in the future.
Round 1: Riley Reiff, Iowa
Round 2: Zebrie Sanders, Florida State
Round 3: Matt McCants, Alabama