With the Seattle Seahawks sitting at a respectable 6-4 on the year, there are still a few areas the Hawks must improve on during the offseason.
The offense has shown glimpses throughout the season and with Russell Wilson under center, the Seahawks have found their quarterback of the future.
But, the major issue moving forward will be surrounding Wilson with the necessary talent to stay competitive in the ever-changing NFC West. With teams like San Francisco and Arizona, the division is defense-first.
That is true in Seattle as well, but hopefully the offense can match the defense in the coming years.
With a solid coaching staff in place that has installed their offensive and defensive schemes, the Hawks have found solidarity over the past few years.
As Pete Carroll continues his ascent through the NFL, here is what Seattle must do this offseason.
Whether it’s through the draft or through free agency, the Seahawks must find a vertical threat, because it’s not Sidney Rice.
Rice is playing admirable as of late, but he is not a superstar. The Seahawks have struck out when it comes to finding wide receivers through free agency (see: Houshmandzadeh, T.J.), but that does not mean they shouldn’t try.
There are a few notable free agent wide outs that would be worth Seattle’s time.
Dwayne Bowe and Mike Wallace are the two that headline this year’s class of free agents, and the Hawks should target both.
The wide receiver crop in this year’s draft is not looking too deep, but if the Seahawks can grab a young wide receiver to team with Wilson, that would be ideal.
Tavon Austin and Terrance Williams are two seniors that highlight the wide receivers, but they may already have been selected by the time the Hawks pick.
Austin is also very small, as he’s listed at 5’9”, but he is nearly impossible to cover in space. Williams is a much more physical wide receiver, and has been racking up his stats at Baylor this year.
It’s time for Pete Carroll to bolster his passing game with a downfield threat to help Wilson turn into a prolific passer.
The Seahawks have addressed the offensive line over the past couple of years largely through the draft.
That should not change this season, as Seattle will surely spend some of its draft picks to beef up the offensive line.
The Hawks have selected Russell Okung, John Moffitt and James Carpenter in recent years, and all of them have started along the line. Some have been nagged by the injuries throughout that time, and Seattle would be wise to continue adding depth.
Regardless of when they are selected, Seattle must continue to get young talent on the offensive line if they want Wilson to remain comfortable in the pocket.
The line has been looking better as of late, but with a few more playmakers, preferably in the tackle position, Seattle will really improve.
Okung will hopefully become a force like what was expected of him when he was selected sixth overall in the 2010 draft, but the Seahawks must have an insurance policy.
This regime has been wise about selecting lineman, and hopefully that trend continues this offseason.
With the current trend in the NFL pointing towards big, athletic tight ends, the Seahawks should follow suit.
Finding a speedster tight end that is a matchup nightmare will really help Russell Wilson as tight ends have become go-to receivers in other offenses.
With the likes of Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski entering the league, the trend of tight ends continues changing. No longer are tight ends looked at as afterthoughts on offense, and the Seahawks would be that much more dangerous with an uber-talented tight end.
Zach Miller has played formidable as a member of the Hawks, but that’s not enough. It would be great to see someone lineup for the Seahawks that defensive coordinators must stay up to game plan about.
There is a wealth of talent at the tight end position currently in college football and a high draft pick would be great to find a playmaker at.
If Zach Ertz or Tyler Eifert declare themselves eligible at the end of the season, the Seahawks would be wise to do everything in their power to nab one of those two in the draft. Also, Joseph Fauria out of UCLA, is a 6’7” behemoth of a tight end that can make plays all over the field.
If the Seahawks could get any of the three, it would be a great boost to an already talented offense.
The Seahawks don’t really have too much to worry about when it comes to re-signing players.
The big ones will be linebacker Leroy Hill, defensive linemen Jason Jones and Alan Branch.
Those are the few impending free agents who play a key role for the Hawks this season. Outside of them, most of the other free agents are largely backups who are replaceable or are cheap enough to resign easily.
Jones was a free agent last season and came to the Seahawks to bolster the defensive line. Jones has shown glimpses and has 2.5 sacks on the season.
Branch is another big body along the defensive line and the Seahawks would be smart to keep that group together as they have provided some excellent results.
Hill was drafted by Seattle and with two relatively younger linebackers alongside him, the Hawks would be wise to keep him there for their maturity purposes.
He has been a stopper for Seattle for eight years now and it would be great to see him in a Seattle jersey next year as well.
This one may be somewhat nit-picky but with Marcus Trufant’s contract ending in 2013, the Hawks need to find a nickel cornerback.
Trufant is too slow to come off the edge and put pressure on quarterbacks from the nickel spot. It would be great to find a speedster who’s decent in coverage to fill that void.
It doesn’t need to be a superstar signing, as Seattle already boasts two of the best cornerbacks in the league, but it would be great to nab a veteran cornerback who could come in on third down.
There is a host of names out there that will enter free agency this year and with Seattle’s cap space they should have no problem finding one.