Seattle gets solid competition at defensive tackle and a player who can help with their pass-rush.
With the first of two picks the Seahawks received from the Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle selects a player at a position they appeared to be fairly well stocked.
However, Alan Branch and Jason Jones will both be free agents at the end of 2012. This pick clearly helps with the future, but also has application for 2012.
Seattle has struggled to generate much of an interior pass-rush. Jaye Howard should offer immediate help, blending a powerful burst off the line and fluid change of direction.
This pick is solid, but some fans were hoping Seattle would add a receiver to compete with an already thick unit. Nick Toon (Wisconsin) was still on the board and would have been a good fit with their newly-drafted quarterback.
With the health issues Seattle has had at the position, many were expecting Seattle to grab a competitor during the draft.
Seattle also had the opportunity to take Orson Charles (TE, Georgia), who was considered a potential first-round pick at one point. There were also several options on the board for depth on the offensive line.
Jaye Howard was the highest rated player on their board, though, and it isn't hard to see why.
He is a big, powerful defensive tackle who can be a real force in the NFL. The one concern is he tends to disappear at times and was inconsistent in college.
If Gus Bradley can keep him focused, Howard will be a great addition. He runs well for a 6'3", 301 lb. lineman, posting a 40-time of 4.82. More important, his 20-yard shuttle was an impressive 4.47.
Howard showed positive progression throughout his collegiate career. He was in better shape this last season and it showed on the field.
He ended the 2011 season with 65 tackles, 10 for a loss. He also had 5.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries, one returned for a touchdown.
NFL.com offers insight on Howard's play:
"Howard has been a durable player for the Gators. He is very quick off the ball for his size, although he can forget his technique (a testament to his inconsistent play overall) and rise up to get stonewalled by offensive linemen at times.
He is very good against the run and has the ability to snap quickly off the ball, engage a lineman, then work off him to move laterally towards a running back and make a big-time play in the backfield."
Fans will at least like the "durable" portion of Howard's play. With a year to learn, Howard could be a solid starter that can rush the passer...another big need for the team from the interior linemen.