This draft will be the third orchestrated by Pete Carroll and John Schneider. They took over a team that was old, injury prone and almost entirely devoid of talent. And in only two offseasons, they have transformed it into one of the youngest, toughest, most aggressive teams in the league. They will smash you in the mouth on both sides of the ball, then they'll do it again.
As a defensive-minded coach, Carroll predictably made revamping the defense his first priority. In 2009, the Seahawks fielded one of the worst defenses in the NFL. However, many systems rated their defensive among the top 10 in the league in 2011, due in large part to a huge, aggressive secondary led by safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, and a massive, imposing defensive line fronted by Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant and underrated free agent acquisition Alan Branch. That huge line performed to expectations and clogged running lanes, but at the expense of rushing the passer. Only dedicated pass-rusher Chris Clemons provided any sort of consistent pressure. This will need to change.
During his end-of-season press conference, Carroll was asked about offseason priorities. He said a lot—because he's Pete Carroll—but his response included two money quotes.
First quote: “You’re always looking for touchdown-makers on offense. You always want to get guys that can score. So if there’s a wide receiver in the draft that would be cool, if there’s a big-time running back that would be cool.”
Second quote: “We need to get faster on D, more speed from LB corps, speedy inside and outside rushers. We’d like to add more competitive guys in our secondary.”
I think this is the last time Seattle will dip heavily into free agency, and I think the most obvious fit is Mario Williams. He vastly improves the speed of the front seven and provides the desperately needed pass rush. Seattle has the cap space and he fits a massive need (and I need a baseline for this mock), so I'm going to assume the Seahawks sign him as a free agent. I think Red Bryant will seek more money than Seattle is willing to offer, and it will enter the draft in need of talent at defensive tackle. Finally, given a number of statements made by both Carroll and Schneider, I'm going to assume they don't plan to draft a QB in the first few rounds.
Now that the stage is set, here is the Seahawks' latest seven-round mock draft prediction.