We all know that, without a doubt, this was a good if not great offseason. In fact, BR has beaten it to death, but with good reason. If this were happening in New York, Philadelphia or New England, everyone would know about it.
It's a common happening here in the rainy outpost of the northwest, and its something we've learned to live with. This probably won't wake anyone up, but that's alright, it'll happen when the Cardinals fall and this Seahawk team "comes out of nowhere!"
Let’s review this offseason. Primary needs going in were depth to the OL, add a reliable option at WR, size on the defensive front, and a reliable DB or S option for the league's worst pass defense. Some secondary needs were WR speed, RB depth, and overall talent and a true blocking FB.
The 'Hawks drafted Max Unger and re-signed Ray Willis, signed Housh and drafted a real winged man, Deon Butler. They also signed 300 some odd pound Colin Cole, traded for Cory Redding, signed CB Ken Lucas, and Fullbacks Owen Schmitt and Justin Griffith.
Oh and we also drafted a linebacker named Aaron Curry. Word on the street is he's pretty talented.
With the Cardinals not getting to much better in their offseason and a predicted regression by Kurt Warner, this division is ripe for the taking. It's still the Cardinals' division to lose, as they are still immensely dangerous on offense and good enough on defense.
The 49ers are headed in the right direction; it’s just hard to see them really competing this year. I seem them as the spoiler team that wins some games they aren’t supposed to, but not enough to make a lot of noise.
I'd have my money on the Seahawks because of defense. Seattle can hang with Arizona in the passing department with a healthy QB, receivers, and line, something they will have this year. Their defense is no doubt better than the Cardinals, in all areas.
So I have them winning the division this year as the No. 3 seed (No. 1 winner of the east, No. 2 Atlanta) and I have them beating the No. 6 seed Carolina Panthers. But then they run into trouble in Atlanta.
But, the 2010 draft vaults them into uber contention. Let’s say they have the No. 6 pick (From Denver) and we'll say the 22nd pick.
At No. 6, we should be looking at one. Our next franchise QB two. A thunderous safety three. Adrian Peterson 2.0. Sam Bradford will likely be gone, as will Taylor Mays (the Raiders). There doesn't seem like there will be any backs that are worth No. 6 either. So let’s look at our options.
S Eric Berry, Tennessee; QB Jevan Snead Ole Miss and DT Ndamukong Suh/Gerald McCoy Nebraska/ Oklahoma. Jevan Snead will likely be available later, so I'd take the ball hawk out of Tennessee, Eric Berry. He's been compared to Ed Reed a lot, and that's something every team is looking for.
With the 22nd Pick we should select Jevan Snead if he is on the board. However, with Denver picking before us (Chicago's pick) that likely won't happen. So here's the plan: With this pick, we get RB Jonathan Dwyer, and in the second round, we grab this no name QB, Tim Hiller.
He plays at Western Michigan, so he doesn't get noticed all that well, but from what I've heard he's strong armed, good instincts, and really good size. His weaknesses start and end with his footwork, if he can get that straightened out, he'll be a Ben Roethlisberger type QB for years to come.
So in the first two rounds we pick up Ed Reed, Ben Roethlisberger (may take a year or two to develop though), and I haven't been able to dig up enough information on Dwyer to draw much of a comparison but many scouts and analysts are putting him mid-late first round.
Our defense is now savage with playmakers Berry and Trufant behind our LB trio, behind a line that is getting bigger and back to health, all playing in a defensive scheme that turns their size weakness into strength by playing to their speed strength.
On offense, our line is getting younger and also may find new life under a new scheme, the receivers are getting older yes but that can be addressed fairly easily. A new premiere back is in place to take full advantage of Knapp's offense, and we laid the foundation for future success with Tim Hiller. Not to mention what we could pick up later in the draft.
So, as this long drawn out article comes to a close, remember Hawks fans, 2009 looks bright, the future looks even brighter.