Assessing the Seahawks' Top Needs for Draft Day
As evidenced by their record last year, the Seahawks need plenty of help and will be looking to add depth at a variety of positions.
Already this offseason, Seattle has attempted to improve their lack of pass rush last season by addressing their needs on the defensive line by signing Colin Cole and trading for Cory Redding.
Unfortunately, gaps have opened at the linebacker position with Julian Peterson's departure and the uncertainty over the length of time Leroy Hill will be willing to hold out.
It also remains to be seen if Owen Schmitt can fill the opening at fullback left by Leonard Weaver.
The most promising news is seeing Matt Hasselbeck back in action at mini-camp and letting fans know that he’s “not going anywhere.”
He also reminded everyone that he was considered a “waste of a pick” when he was a sixth round selection by Green Bay in 1998.
With quarterbacks of his caliber to be found deep in the draft, and with the Seahawks' history of drafting busts like Kelly Stouffer, Rick Mirer, and Dan McGwire, it’s understandable for Seattle fans to be tentative about their team drafting a quarterback with their first pick this year.
Quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers have always been viewed by fans as the “sexy” picks.
However, with the Seahawks needing starters and depth in so many other areas, it would be wise for them to stay away from those spots.
Of course, making other teams believe they need to move up to the fourth pick if they want to take a guy like Mark Sanchez, or Matt Stafford if he happens to fall that far, could certainly help the Seahawks fill additional needs by swapping for additional picks.
Here is a breakdown of Seattle’s greatest needs, and the potential players Seattle may select to fill those needs in the first few rounds.
By the end of the year last year, the entire starting five on the Seahawks' line were on the disabled list.
The injuries on the line were instrumental in contributing to an ineffectiveness of the running and passing game and limiting Seattle’s time of possession.
As Walter Jones nears retirement, it’s time to start grooming his replacement with this year’s incredibly deep class of offensive tackles.
Unfortunately for Seattle, Taylor Mays decided to stay for his senior year at USC; he would have been a no-brainer at the fourth pick.
Instead, this year’s class of free safeties is relatively weak. The Hawks should have the opportunity at the top of the second or third round to draft one of the top safeties available.
The Seahawks' lack of size at corner showed last year, and the fact that they have to go up against Larry Fitzgerald twice a year emphasizes that need.
The fourth pick would be a little early to take a corner in this year’s draft, but if they can trade down a few slots, it may be worth it to get a big corner.
Of course, Seahawks fans need no reminder that Ken Lucas is still floating around looking for a job, and he could be immediately welcomed back into the starting role.
If the season started today, the Seahawks would not be in good shape in terms of their linebacker corps.
Lofa Tatupu remains anchored at middle linebacker, but Leroy Hill holding out and D.D. Lewis a question mark as to whether he can be expected to fill the gap left by Peterson makes what used to be the strength of their defense a new question mark.
Although Redding and Cole were picked up this offseason, the Seahawks had difficulties pressuring the QB last year, and it showed with the big yardage given up by the secondary in key situations.
If Seattle finds themselves in the position to draft a solid defensive tackle in the early rounds, they should take it. Trading down in the first round would provide them a good opportunity to do just that.
The pickup of T.J. Houshmandzadeh was a solid upgrade over the aging Bobby Engram.
It’s possible that the Seahawks see Deion Branch stepping into the playmaking receiver role they’ve been expecting from him, so they would likely pass on Michael Crabtree and take their chances with a pick later in the draft.
If the Seahawks take Sanchez with the fourth pick, as some project, I think it would be a disaster for Seattle.
There are far greater needs, and taking a QB in this spot would act as a domino effect on the level of talent they can pick up throughout the first few rounds.
I believe it’s a great strategy to play up the fact they want Sanchez in an attempt to trade down and pick up additional picks, but having Hasselbeck, Sanchez, and Seneca Wallace would mean a lot of money sitting on the bench.
Seahawks fans may not have liked everything they saw from Julius Jones last year, but in terms of yards per attempt he had his best year of his career.
If the Hawks improve on the offensive line, the added playing time with the departure of Maurice Morris will allow him to show off his toughness and give fans the running game they’ve been waiting to see.
Here are a few picks the Seahawks should have on their radar through the first five rounds (click on each name for a link to player profiles by NFLDraftScout.com).
Additional picks by Seattle: Round Six, Pick Five (178); Round Seven, Pick Four (213); Round Seven, Pick 36 (245) (Compensatory selection); Round Seven, Pick 38 (247) (Compensatory selection); Round Seven, Pick 39 (248) (Compensatory selection)
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