Don't look now, but the Seattle Seahawks are suddenly on a roll after appearing to be on the ropes just a few weeks earlier.
It's been an up and down season for the 'Hawks with some huge wins and some disappointing losses, but the question remains, "What will they do for an encore?"
Right now fans and pundits alike would agree that while the 'Hawks remain serious contenders, they are not without a few weak spots in which they can improve, with wide receiver looking like the popular place to start.
At the same time, if we know anything about head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, it's to expect the unexpected when it comes to the draft as time and again over the course of three years now the 'Hawks have managed to unearth quite a few gems to rebuild their roster from scratch.
Can the 'Hawks front office continue to fill in the pieces?
Perhaps it may be a bit early to get excited about the draft, but for fun let's take a look at some of the possibilities for the Seahawks and see how the rich can get richer in 2013.
Disclaimer: All picks guaranteed wrong come April...or your money back!
So who will the Seahawks draft with their first selection in 2013?
Similar to last year, the battle-cry from fans and experts this year is focused on one position, in this case wide receiver.
While Sidney Rice has held up well this year in posting solid numbers and Golden Tate has finally emerged as a starter, it seems that the 'Hawks options thin out quickly beyond that pairing as sadly last year's unsung hero Doug Baldwin has been missing in action all season.
Names like Tavon Austin and Terrance Williams, have been mentioned going to the 'Hawks, yet you never can tell what Pete and John are thinking and I believe they will wait just a little longer for a wideout.
Instead they will surprise us once again and opt for LSU's Sam Montgomery to further bolster the 'Hawks pass rush.
Yes, last year's No. 1 selection Bruce Irvin has been solid this season and veteran Chris Clemons has recently rebounded after seemingly run out of gas during the middle portion of the schedule, but adding Montgomery to the mix will help further solidify a unit that could go from good to great with his help.
Ok, now without further delay the 'Hawks will draft a wideout, but one that comes with serious question marks.
Da'Rick Rogers is the kind of player that could end up anywhere from the first round to being an undrafted free agent, so months from now this prediction could be the most laughable of the bunch.
Depending on how he fares over the next few months will be telling as he may shoot up the boards or drop like a stone while ending up as this season's Vontaze Burfict.
For now I picture the 'Hawks taking a gamble in the second round on the enigmatic wideout who possesses the body and skills to do great things, but has a penchant for trouble off the field.
In the past year alone Rogers was kicked off the University Tennessee squad for "maturity issues" largely having to do with failed drug tests, but soon ended up going to school just down the road at Tennessee Tech and put up some decent numbers there.
This time last year I would never have considered a player like Rogers, but with the 'Hawks inching towards becoming a major contender they might be tempted to reach for him much like they did this past draft with pass rusher Bruce Irvin.
Adding Rogers to the 'Hawks' currently thin—albeit talented—receiving corp featuring Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, and Doug Baldwin could help the team get richer by providing the kind of player the team has struggled to find and keep since training camp.
Perhaps I'm a sentimental fool, but the Seahawks do need to bring in another cornerback and wouldn't it be great to see older brother Marcus pass the baton to his younger brother Desmond?
To be blunt I'm not quite sure if Marcus has enough left in the tank to return next year and if you couple that with Walter Thurmond's chronic inability to stay healthy, it might be worthwhile to add Desmond to the mix as insurance beyond starters Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman.
Sentiment aside, Desmond is the kind of athletic cover corner whom I believe the 'Hawks should be able to find a meaningful role for right away next season, especially if Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane struggle the next few weeks filling in for Browner, Sherman, Thurmond, and Trufant.
However if Maxwell and Lane do step up, the need for a corner becomes far less pressing and the next position on the board would take priority...
At some point in the first half of the draft, the 'Hawks will need to find someone to complete the linebacking trio that currently includes rookie Bobby Wagner and second year man K.J. Wright.
In fairness to Leroy Hill, he has played well this season, but this could and arguably should be his last season in Seattle.
Connecticut linebacker Trevardo Williams is a fairly consistent playmaker with the standard size and speed that could help round out the linebacker triumvirate.
If not him, certainly someone akin to him would make sense as this unit in the span of just two years could go from being a weakness to a strength in solidifying the middle of the defense.
At some point in either the fourth or fifth round of the draft, the Oakland Raiders will need to provide the Seahawks one of their draft picks in compensation for Aaron Curry.
Either way an extra pick is a bonus and one the 'Hawks should use to improve their defensive line.
Geathers has yet to declare for the draft, but if he is available it certainly couldn't hurt to add a potential every down defensive tackle.
Dude is big and bad in ways that every team likes and could challenge for significant playing time if given the chance with the 'Hawks next season right away.
The need for a tackle could grow in the coming weeks depending on how well Breno Giacomini holds up.
Whether you like him or not, the fact is the 'Hawks need to sure up their depth at both his spot on the right and for Russell Okung on the left.
That is unless you're happy with the likes of Frank Omiyale and Mike Person?
Exactly...and that's why I have Kansas right tackle Tanner Hawkinson going to Seattle to help provide a little extra help even if Breno does hold up over the coming weeks.
Walterfootball.com currently lists Hawkinson as player with fifth or sixth round potential that would need to be developed at the pro level after playing primarily on the left side in college.
Why would the 'Hawks draft a full back?
Michael Robinson is arguably one of the better fullbacks in football, so why waste a pick?
You could argue that the 'Hawks should look for a tight end at this point, but given Russell Wilson's ability to connect with both Zach Miller and Anthony McCoy I'm less inclined to believe Pete Carroll and John Schneider will be looking to add another one.
Meanwhile, if the the whole idea here is that the rich get richer, then Line is a pick that will help provide depth behind Robinson who—dare I say it—will be 30 next season.
It also doesn't hurt that Walterfootball.com lists him as their No. 1 fullback on the board in stating:
Line doesn't look like he has the burst needed to be a running back in the NFL; he isn't quick enough to the hole. However, Line definitely has the skill set to be a fullback. He is big enough to be a good blocker, can carry the ball in short-yardage situations and has nice receiving ability out of the backfield.
Ok, so that might not be a ringing endorsement, but we are talking about a fullback here which sadly has become one of the more underutilized positions in all of football.
The 'Hawks; seventh round pick is a bit of a mystery given the team's original pick was shipped off for Kellen Winslow months ago; meanwhile trades over the summer that shipped off Barrett Ruud to New Orleans and Tarvaris Jackson to Buffalo could potentially net late round picks.
In the case of Ruud the year and round have yet to be decided, but the pick for T-Jack should be this year and for the purpose this exercise I will make it a seventh rounder.
So who should the 'Hawks take with this final pick?
In keeping up with the theme of brotherly love, why not take a chance on the younger brother of the reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers?
As a Vandy grad I will also confess to being a bit biased towards liking Rodgers, but let's not lose sight of the fact he led the Commodores to an 8-4 record and a bowl berth.
Whether or not the 'Hawks like Rodgers though remains to be seen, but you have to figure the team will look to add another quarterback before all is said and done in April.
While Russell Wilson has proven to be everything we had ever hoped for and then some, it begs the question of what to do with Matt Flynn?
Should the 'Hawks keep him as insurance or trade him to a team that will actually let him play?
Time will tell, but such is the case at this point in time and a lot can and will happen between now and April.
The Senior Bowl, the draft Combine, and free agency, will all help further shape how things unfold come April, but for now these are the needs I believe the 'Hawks need to address.
The good news is that the 'Hawks for the first time in a long time are poised to draft from a position of strength rather than desperate need to either rebuild or fill a gaping hole.
Will the talent-rich Seahawks get richer next spring?
One can only hope so, but I will make sure to reserve judgement because after three years in charge, Pete Carroll and John Schneider have earned that right in spite of going against the grain by building one of the best young rosters in the NFL.