2014 NFL Draft: Pre-Scouting Combine Edition
With the Seattle Seahawks beating the Denver Broncos in this year's Super Bowl, the next big thing for most football fans will be the NFL draft. Free agency will certainly grab everyone's attention as big-name players will sign massive contracts. But for diehard fans, there's nothing like draft weekend.
The Houston Texans hold the first overall pick after losing their final 14 games. The franchise will have several months to decide whether they want to go with a franchise signal-caller or once-in-a-generation pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney.
Likely three (Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Blake Bortles) and as many as four quarterbacks could go in the top 10 picks.
Upcoming events like the NFL Scouting Combine and potential trades between teams will impact an organization's outlook heading into draft day. But for now, here's a look at what this year's mock draft could look like.
1. Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Bill O'Brien's best bet to begin his coaching career would be finding a signal-caller for his franchise. Matt Schaub flamed out in 2013 and will undoubtedly be released this offseason. Case Keenum showed flashes but is likely a career backup. O'Brien needs a guy like Bridgewater to run his offense for the next 10-15 seasons.
Bridgewater isn't the prospect Andrew Luck was. But O'Brien is a quarterback guru who coached Tom Brady to a 50-touchdown season in 2007. If he can coach QBs at all, he should be able to develop Bridgewater. Despite the recent hoopla surrounding Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller still has Bridgewater as his No. 1 prospect for the ’14 draft.
Bridgewater completed 71.0 percent of his passes in 2013 for 31 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He's tall, accurate, and would inherit a duo of extremely talented wide receivers in Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins. Bridgewater is a safer pick than Bortles or Manziel, and he gets the nod here.
2. St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
The St. Louis Rams have a difficult decision to make with quarterback Sam Bradford, the 2010 No. 1 overall pick who counts for a whopping $17.6 million against the cap in '14. Bradford has underachieved thus far and seems to lack the intangibles to be the player the team thought, but the organization seems to be committed to him for next season.
Assuming Bradford is back, the team would be foolish not to surround him with better protection. Free-agent left tackle Jake Long played very well in his first year in St. Louis but a torn ACL in Week 16 means he could miss the start of next season. Right tackle Rodger Saffold is a free agent and may not be back, especially considering Joe Barksdale held his own when forced into action.
Auburn's Greg Robinson would be a day one starter. He seems to have supplanted Jake Matthews as the top offensive line prospect and would be a necessity considering the Rams face three difficult NFC West defenses a total of six times per season. Robinson isn't the exciting pick that Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins would be but he fills a key position of need.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Jacksonville owner Shad Khan recently said the team will pick a quarterback or two in this year's draft. Johnny Manziel will certainly put fans in their seats, and he's a playmaker if there ever was one.
The recent success of Russell Wilson should make an NFL team more likely to build its team around a short quarterback. Manziel was an exciting player at Texas A&M, throwing for 37 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards while rushing for nine more scores.
Jacksonville lacks ideal weapons on its offense—outside of talented but problematic receiver Justin Blackmon. But Manziel is a QB who can make plays out of nothing. He's high-risk, high-reward and some team will likely make him a top five pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
4. Cleveland Browns: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Cleveland's ideal scenario would be to trade up for Johnny Manziel, and management may make sure it happens.
The team hasn't had a franchise quarterback since Bernie Kosar, save for a largely fluke season from Derek Anderson in 2007. Brandon Weeden predictably flopped two seasons ago, and it's time to move on from him already. But with Manziel off the board, Cleveland will go to another player to lead their franchise.
Blake Bortles is the next-best quarterback on the board with Bridgewater and Manziel gone. Bortles has shot up draft boards, and he's a mobile QB who can make plays with his feet. Bortles doesn't have elite arm strength but he has NFL size and the intelligence to succeed at the next level.
For Cleveland to have any chance of getting back to a respectable level, they're going to need a franchise quarterback.
5. Oakland Raiders: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Ideally, the Oakland Raiders would have one of the big three quarterbacks available with the fifth overall selection. The Raiders can't possibly go into next season with Terrelle Pryor or Matt McGloin at their helm.
But head coach Dennis Allen would get himself a bona fide pass-rushing sensation with defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney is best suited as a 4-3 end, and if the Raiders retain free agent Lamarr Houston, they have a top-rated duo of defensive ends.
Clowney mailed it in this past year at the University of South Carolina, but he isn't lacking in terms of talent. He was unblockable when he wanted to be. Oakland needs him to keep up with the other three AFC West teams, all of which feature Pro Bowl quarterbacks. He's the kind of guy a team can build its defense around.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
The Atlanta Falcons would be thrilled to land Jadeveon Clowney if he's available, and they need a pass-rusher badly enough that they may trade up to get him. Should the team wait, they get a pretty good consolation prize in UCLA's Anthony Barr.
Barr racked up ridiculous statistics in his final collegiate season, putting up 10 sacks, 20 tackles for a loss and five forced fumbles. The Falcons just released veteran linebacker Stephen Nicholas and could use a playmaker at the position to go with Sean Weatherspoon.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the makings of a ferocious defense in 2014. Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David are arguably the finest at their positions. Darrelle Revis is still an elite cover corner, and Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron are an underrated safety tandem. Add Khalil Mack to the mix, and the Bucs have a player who can consistently get to the opposing quarterback.
Last year, Mack racked up 19 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and three interceptions. Those are ridiculous numbers. Mack is just 235 pounds, so he may have to add on weight to be an ideal fit as a 4-3 end. But regardless of whether he plays 4-3 outside linebacker (a la Von Miller) or defensive end, he’s a borderline top-five overall pick who won’t last through the first 10 selections.
8. Minnesota Vikings: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
The Minnesota Vikings badly need a quarterback after their carousel of 2013. It's clear that Christian Ponder is not the answer, and Josh Freeman was a perplexing $3 million midseason addition to the bench.
The Vikings stumbled this past year to a 5-10-1 finish, and they're the only team in the division without a long-term solution at quarterback. Minnesota gets a pretty good option with the fourth QB behind Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Blake Bortles.
Derek is the brother of former Houston Texans No. 1 overall pick, David. This Carr possesses a cannon of an arm, which is good because he'll inherit a solid receiving corps that includes Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson and tight end Kyle Rudolph. Carr is a bit of a stretch at the eighth pick, but this team can't wait on a quarterback any longer if they want to be competitive.
9. Buffalo Bills: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
The Buffalo Bills took a chance on quarterback E.J. Manuel last season, and now it is time to ensure he has the best weapons surrounding him. Stevie Johnson's play dropped off in 2013, as he posted just 52 receptions, 597 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He may be a candidate for offseason release, considering he's due to make a $3.65 million base salary and count $8.5 million against the cap next year.
Rookie second-round receiver Robert Woods played well in his initial NFL season, although he may be best suited as a No. 2 in this league. But there's no doubt that Sammy Watkins is the real deal. Watkins is too good to pass up at this spot, and Buffalo would leap to grab the Clemson playmaker.
Watkins put up 101 catches and 12 scores in '13, including 16 more for two touchdowns in the Orange Bowl. Watkins has the skill set to make an immediate impact in the National Football League. If he runs a fast 40 at the Scouting Combine, the Bills may have to trade up to secure him.
10. Detroit Lions: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Matthew Stafford throwing to Calvin Johnson and Mike Evans would be an absolute nightmare for the other NFC North teams.
The Detroit Lions have a handful of key needs following a dismal finish to the 2013 season that saw head coach Jim Schwartz lose his job. The secondary needs a major overhaul, but the team won't be able to pass on 6'5" Evans if he's still there at pick 10.
Evans is the next Vincent Jackson, although he may actually be better. The key will be his 40 time, as this could raise or lower his stock a significant amount. Assuming Evans doesn't post a mark around 4.7, he will be a top-10 pick. He's a jump ball machine and even with his subpar NFL speed, he can easily win contested balls.
11. Tennessee Titans: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
In 2013, the Tennessee Titans had one of the best tackle tandems in the game in Michael Roos and David Stewart.
Even so, the team could use another offensive tackle, preferably one in the first round. Roos is entering his contract year and Stewart is due to make $6.4 million in '14, which is typically too high of a price for a right tackle.
Jake Matthews is a rock-solid player who could step in and pick up right where Stewart left off. Matthews blocked for Johnny Manziel in college, and he's the son of NFL Hall of Fame center Bruce Matthews. Jake was a First-Team All-American in 2012 and a Consensus All-American this past season. Matthews is a solid player in pass protection but even better in opening up holes in the running game.
12. New York Giants: C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama
The New York Giants were awful for the first half of last season, and most of that blame can be put on the offensive line.
Newly-extended left tackle Will Beatty was horrendous, leading the NFL with 13 sacks allowed. Center David Baas ended the year on injured reserve, as did Pro Bowl right guard Chris Snee (who is an offseason candidate for release). Rookie first-round right tackle Justin Pugh began the season slowly but picked up his pace, coinciding with the Giants' hot streak to close out '13.
The problem is that the Giants have too much money devoted to Beatty to move on from him, and thus this pick goes to outside linebacker C.J. Mosley from Alabama. Alabama linebackers haven't fared too well recently (see Courtney Upshaw or Dont'a Hightower) but Mosley is too talented for the Giants to resist at this point. He also fills a huge position of need.
Mosley can play inside or outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme. With Jon Beason manning the "Mike" spot, Mosley moves outside. He is much better than '13 Giants like Keith Rivers or Jacquian Williams. He's an asset to a Giants team that has missed the playoffs for two years running.
13. St. Louis Rams: Haha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
The St. Louis Rams still have a glaring need at wide receiver, even after taking speedy slot receiver Tavon Austin at pick eight overall. Chris Givens regressed in 2013 and former second-round pick Brian Quick doesn't look like he will ever reach his potential.
Mike Evans—who would be the ideal fit for Sam Bradford—is already off the board. That means the Rams take Alabama hard-hitting safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, a player who could start immediately for this team.
Clinton-Dix's value has to be enhanced by the resounding Super Bowl performance from both Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. The Rams have one up-and-coming safety in last year's third-round pick, T.J. McDonald, and this would give them a bright future at safety.
Clinton-Dix is a ballhawk in the secondary, one who would cause trouble for division quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. Clinton-Dix also has good size and can stop the run.
14. Chicago Bears: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Restoring its defensive line should be Chicago's top priority. Collectively, the front four was a dismal unit in 2013, surrendering a league-worst 2,583 rushing yards on 5.3 yards per carry.
Julius Peppers is a candidate for offseason release. He's entering his 13th NFL season and set to make $13.9 million in base salary with a $18.8 million cap hit, per Spotrac. 2012 first-round pick Shea McClellin is looking like a bust. That means it is time for the Bears to reload at the defensive end position, and who better than Missouri standout pass-rusher Kony Ealy?
Ealy picked up eight sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles and six passes defensed in 2013. At 6'5", 275 pounds, he's built like an NFL 4-3 end, one who can play in passing and running situations. Ealy is what the Bears need to get to division quarterbacks like Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
To remain a competitive team, the Pittsburgh Steelers absolutely have to protect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Second-round pick Mike Adams was a bust from the 2012 NFL draft and can't be relied on anymore.
The interior of the line is solid with Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro. Should the organization add Michigan's Taylor Lewan, they get a left tackle that should be able to hold down the fort for the next decade. Lewan is a monster of a man at 6'8", and he would give the Steelers the best offensive line they've had in years.
16. Dallas Cowboys: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
Few things were worse last year than the Dallas Cowboys' defense. Coordinator Monte Kiffin didn't help, and neither did a slew of injuries to veteran players.
Florida State's Timmy Jernigan would be a key addition to a defensive line that will likely let Jason Hatcher walk in free agency (and possibly Anthony Spencer as well). Jernigan can play 4-3 tackle or 3-4 end, and the Cowboys need to get younger on their defensive line.
17. Baltimore Ravens: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
The Baltimore Ravens pulled off an underrated midseason trade when they acquired Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, and it’s looking like they will re-sign him to a long-term deal this spring. That still leaves the right tackle spot open, as former first-round pick Michael Oher has underachieved of late and is hitting free agency.
Tennessee’s Antonio Richardson is a first-round prospect who can play tackle or guard. He would be best suited as a right tackle, considering the team has Kelechi Osemele and Marshal Yanda penciled in as the 2014 guards.
Richardson is a monster at 6’6”, 332 pounds, and he uses his size to his advantage. He can still stand to show improvement against the fiercest pass-rushers, but Richardson would start from day one if the Ravens draft him.
18. New York Jets: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Eric Ebron has a chance to shoot up NFL draft boards if he runs well at the Scouting Combine. He’s physically built and produced extremely well at North Carolina in 2013. Ebron is big and fast and can make a quarterback’s job much easier.
Last year, New York Jets’ starting tight end Jeff Cumberland ranked just 28th among players at his position in receiving yards (398). He wasn’t any better as a blocker, grading out as the single worst pass-blocking tight end in the game, per Pro Football Focus. And Kellen Winslow won’t likely be back with the organization in ’14.
The Jets can’t pass on Ebron if he’s still available. And if they do pass on him, it better be to take a wide receiver like Kelvin Benjamin or Marqise Lee.
19. Miami Dolphins: Cyrus Kouandijo, OT, Alabama
Joe Philbin should hand in his resignation papers if the Miami Dolphins don’t draft an offensive lineman. Everyone knows about the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito fiasco, but the latest news is that the team could start five new offensive linemen in 2014.
Mike Pouncey may be suspended while both right guard John Jerry and right tackle Tyson Clabo are free agents. Simply put, the Dolphins need anyone they can get. Starting over with Cyrus Kouandijo gives the team a likely anchor of their offensive line.
Kouandijo’s junior season in ’13 wasn’t quite as good as his sophomore campaign in ’12, and NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock believes Kouandijo may have been better off returning to school for one more year. But Kouandijo projects to be a solid NFL offensive tackle. He has the physical tools to protect Ryan Tannehill’s blind side, and the Dolphins will need him to help solidify a troubled offensive line.
20. Arizona Cardinals: Aaron Donald, DE, Pittsburgh
The Arizona Cardinals will likely release defensive end Darnell Dockett, as he’s due to make a $5.5 million base salary and count $8.5 million against the cap in 2014. That’s too much money to pay for a player who rated as the 27th best player at his position a year ago, per Pro Football Focus.
Adding Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald gives the team a player who can step in and fill Dockett’s void immediately. Donald projects to be either a 4-3 defensive tackle or a 3-4 defensive end, and he would team with Calais Campbell to give the Cardinals one of the top 3-4 end duos in the league. Donald was absolutely unblockable while in college, and he’s going to make a good Arizona defense even better.
21. Green Bay Packers: Louis Nix, NT, Notre Dame
The Green Bay Packers will probably lose veteran defensive lineman B.J. Raji in free agency, but they can add his replacement by selecting Notre Dame’s Louis Nix. Nix is a solidly-built 340 pounds, which means he’s your standard 0-technique nose tackle who can require double teams on every snap.
Nix fits better in a 3-4 because he will be able to maximize his size. He would be flanked by 2012 fourth-round pick Mike Daniels and 2013 first-round pick Datone Jones.
The key for a player of Nix’s size will be performing well at the NFL Scouting Combine. The Packers need to be sure he has the ability to be an every-down player like Kansas City’s Dontari Poe, especially if they’re spending a first-round pick on him.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
I initially mocked a wide receiver to the Philadelphia Eagles, giving them Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin. That still remains a strong possibility, especially since it doesn’t appear that Riley Cooper will return to the team in 2014.
But safety is too big of a priority for GM Howie Roseman to ignore. The team has made half-hearted attempts at veterans recently—Marlin Jackson, O.J. Atogwe and Kenny Phillips—but none has come close to panning out. Draft picks like Macho Harris, Nate Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett haven’t proven themselves either.
Louisville’s Calvin Pryor is shooting up draft boards, and the success of the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl will bode well for the top safety prospects. Pryor isn’t quite Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but he’s a legitimate first-rounder himself. Pryor is a game-changing player who can both stop the run and defend the pass.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Aside from quarterback Donovan McNabb, Andy Reid has only ever spent a first-round pick on a handful of positional groups—offensive line, defensive line, cornerback and wide receiver. USC’s Marqise Lee would be the best option at pick 23. If Reid is serious about extending Alex Smith long-term, then he needs to give Smith a better core of receivers, especially after Dwayne Bowe dropped off last season.
Lee is excellent at gaining yards after the catch, and he’s a polished route-runner. Lee isn’t a bigger receiver, but he’s efficient at his craft. His biggest problem is a tendency to drop too many passes. If Lee runs well enough at the NFL Scouting Combine, he will go in the first round.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
The Cincinnati Bengals desperately need to get younger at cornerback.
Terence Newman and Pacman Jones have played well, but they’re on the wrong side of 30. Factor in Pro Bowl corner Leon Hall’s second major injury since being drafted, and the team may not be able to count on him for much longer. And it’s time to acknowledge that 2012 first-rounder Dre Kirkpatrick is looking like a major bust.
Justin Gilbert is an elite cover corner with top speed and long arms that make him a threat to rack up a high number of interceptions early on in his NFL career. He doesn’t defend the run well or make much of an effort, but he’s worth a first-round pick if he can make plays against the passing game.
25. San Diego Chargers: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
There are a handful of ways the San Diego Chargers could go with their first-round pick. The interior offensive line could afford to be upgraded. Philip Rivers could use another big-play wide receiver. But the most pressing need by far is cornerback.
This unit was downright miserable in 2013. Free-agent addition Derek Cox was a colossal bust in year one with the team, rating as the seventh-worst corner in the league, per Pro Football Focus. As a unit, San Diego’s secondary finished 26th in interceptions, 29th in defensive passer rating, and 31st in net passing yards allowed per attempt.
There isn’t a Patrick Peterson or Richard Sherman in this year’s draft, but Darqueze Dennard is arguably the best corner available. Dennard, the brother of New England Patriots’ corner Alfonzo Dennard, is an extremely physical player who isn’t afraid to lay a hit down on a receiver. He will have to be run well at the NFL Scouting Combine, and there have been concerns about the 40-yard dash time he may put up.
26. Cleveland Browns: David Yankey, G, Stanford
The Cleveland Browns get themselves another first-round pick for convincing Indianapolis that Trent Richardson is a franchise back.
With the Browns taking Blake Bortles early on in the draft, they need another lineman to protect him. The tackles are set with Joe Thomas and Mitchell Schwartz. Re-signing center Alex Mack should be a priority for the team, but they may not be able to afford both Mack and safety T.J. Ward.
Stanford’s David Yankey is the best interior lineman in the draft. Guards historically have an extremely high success rate at transitioning to the NFL. Right guard is a monumental position of need for the Browns, as Oniel Cousins and Shawn Lauvao were downright awful in 2013.
What Yankey provides is the ability to start immediately. He’s a proven player at both left tackle and left guard (he replaced Jonathan Martin as the blind-side protector back in ’12). Yankey would fit better as a guard in the NFL, and he’s comparable to a Pro Bowler like Ben Grubbs.
27. New Orleans Saints: Zach Martin, G/OT, Notre Dame
The New Orleans Saints have an aging offensive line, and could use an upgrade with key players—center Brian De La Puente and right tackle Zach Strief—hitting the open market. Factor in that both Ben Grubbs and Jahri Evans will be over 30 years old next season, and the Saints have to start getting younger at such a key unit.
Notre Dame’s Zach Martin can play both tackle and guard. He is a borderline first-round prospect who would be a good grab for the Saints. Martin would likely contribute at right tackle as a rookie, assuming Strief is not re-signed.
28. Carolina Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
The Carolina Panthers can’t afford to go into another season with their current receiving corps. Brandon LaFell is stretched as a No. 2, and Ted Ginn is hitting free agency. Even the ageless Steve Smith started to show signs of decline, as he followed up consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with just 745 yards and four scores.
Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin is a pretty intriguing prospect. He’s a perfect complement to Smith, as he checks in at an impressive 6’5”. Benjamin led the ACC with 15 touchdowns last year, doing so in just his second collegiate campaign. Assuming Benjamin can run well in the 40-yard dash, he should be a first-round pick.
29. New England Patriots: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
This pick makes too much sense for the New England Patriots to ignore. Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins would provide immediate relief to a team that lost both its top two tight ends for the majority of 2013. Rob Gronkowski will return early in ’14, but he may not be at full health considering he tore his ACL.
Seferian-Jenkins has tremendous size (6’6”, 275 pounds). He is a traditional tight end but can also line up out wide. He is a good red-zone threat and can block well. Per NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, the only concern about Seferian-Jenkins may be his time in the 40-yard dash.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Ra’Shede Hageman, NT/DE, Minnesota
This isn’t a position of necessity, but Jim Harbaugh would love a player of Ra’Shede Hageman’s ability. Hageman is a 300-plus pound defensive lineman who can play anywhere on the San Francisco 49ers’ three-man front.
Hageman is a physically imposing player who has drawn comparisons to J.J. Watt. That’s exciting for any defensive coordinator, as Hageman’s versatility will be difficult for an offensive line to protect. Ray McDonald and Justin Smith have high cap figures coming up, and the Niners will have to pay Colin Kaepernick this offseason.
Like the Seattle Seahawks learned, a team really can’t have too many defensive linemen. Hageman is another young and talented player on a tough defense.
31. Denver Broncos: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
This may seem like a bit of a stretch, but watch Stanley Jean-Baptiste shoot up the NFL draft boards in the months leading up to May. Jean-Baptiste has drawn comparisons to Richard Sherman. He’s tremendously built for a corner at 6’3” and over 200 pounds, and he is a top cover corner.
Jean-Baptise intercepted four passes last year, and the Denver Broncos have a pressing need at cornerback. Champ Bailey is entering his 16th NFL season. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a free agent who has openly talked about retirement. And Chris Harris tore his ACL in the playoffs, which means he may not be available until midseason at least.
Jean-Baptiste is the type of physical, press corner that will soon revolutionize the NFL, and that’s why he will go in the first round of the draft.
32. Seattle Seahawks: Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame
This is just what the NFL needs—another defensive lineman on that ferocious Seattle defense. Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt is best suited as a 4-3 defensive tackle, but he could probably play end too, much like the Seahawks use 300-plus pound Red Bryant at end.
Michael Bennett is hitting free agency and Chris Clemons has a high cap figure, which means he may not be back unless he’s willing to take a pay cut. Like the New York Giants during their Super Bowl wins over the New England Patriots, the Seahawks need to reload at their strongest position, and they should be right back on the NFL’s biggest stage.