The 2013 NFL draft is officially over. A total of 254 picks have been made, but certain teams around the National Football League are going to have to plug and fill holes with veteran free-agent additions.
Seattle is no different.
It was able to fill a couple of holes during the draft after shoring up other areas of perceived weakness in both free agency and on the trade market.
As you would expect, John Schneider and Co. are going to scour through the undrafted free-agent market as well as the bargain-bin veteran free-agent market.
Let's take a gander at some areas of concern that Seattle could target between now and the start of the season.
Seattle has Zach Miller and then a whole bunch of nothing at the tight end position. I clearly overestimated its need to go in this direction in the draft, as it waited until the fifth round to select former Rice tight end Luke Willson.
Unless the brass is sold on Anthony McCoy to pick up his game substantially in 2013, I can easily envision a scenario where the Seahawks attempt to find a backup tight end in free agency.
Former New Orleans Saints tight end David Thomas seems like a natural fit and would come relatively cheap. He is of the block-first variety, which Seattle is said to covet.
That being said, Thomas did record four touchdowns on 11 receptions this past season and could act as a second red-zone threat behind Miller at tight end.
Other Option(s): Dante Rosario and Billy Bajema
While Seattle did spend three seventh-round picks along the offensive line, it's hard to come to the conclusion that it will be able to count on any of them to make an immediate impact this upcoming season. Heck, the Seahawks would have found water from a rock if a single one makes the 53-man roster.
Without ample salary-cap room to find a true starter at right tackle, the best Seattle can hope to do in free agency is to create some competition for the underwhelming Breno Giacomini at right tackle.
Luckily, there are some solid options out there that would likely come on the cheap due to a multitude of issues.
The veteran has started only nine games over the last two seasons due to lingering health issues but was one of the most underrated starting tackles in the NFL as recent as 2010. He'd also come relatively cheap for a veteran with past starting experience.
Other Option(s): Winston Justice and Barry Richardson
While some, including myself, envision 2013 seventh-round pick Ty Powell to surprise a lot of people in camp this summer, Seattle might be better off finding a plug-and-play rotational player in free agency.
I fully understand that the Seahawks don't utilize the weak-side linebacker position in a conventional manner, sometimes bringing defensive backs into that role to blitz, but it wouldn't hurt to go out there and sign a cheap veteran upgrade over Heath Farwell and Malcolm Smith.
This is where Thomas Howard comes into play. He started 77 games in his first six NFL seasons before missing all but one outing this past season due to injury. The veteran can come in and represent an upgrade over those two aforementioned players.
Other Option(s): Michael Boley
No one in their right minds can take a look at Seattle's pair of starting safeties and draw a conclusion that they don't represent the best tandem in the National Football League. Some might point to Atlanta as having comparable talent, but that's just plain crazy talk.
This doesn't mean that Seattle can sit back and not have a decent backup plan in case either Earl Thomas or Kam Chancellor go down. In fact, I expected John Schneider to address this position in the draft.
The thought of Jeron Johnson or Chris Maragos coming in and starting for an extended period of time, especially in the NFC West, has to scare Seattle's front office enough to make a play for a veteran.
Abram Elam has 71 starts under his belt in seven NFL seasons and has played pretty darn good football at both safety positions. In reality, Seattle would be getting a two-for-one deal if it made the decision to target the veteran.
In my humble opinion, this is the one direction that the Seahawks must shore up prior to the start of training camp in August.