The struggles in year one of the Mora era are numerous, but none more glaring than the performance of the offensive line.
There is a lot of debate about how much of it is on Mora, and how much of it is on the aging personnel that should have been reloaded earlier instead of getting to the point of rebuilding. That is a debate for another article, but we are where we are at now.
The transition from Holmgren to Mora has been sloppy, but so was the handling of the coach in waiting situation.
There are questions whether Mora was the right guy to take over, but there is no questioning the man’s desire to win, and win big in Seattle.
The big question for Seattle fans is, will this GM provide Mora, or whoever comes after him, with the players to become a playoff contender again?
This 2009 Seahawk team has many issues. There are a number of spots that seem like need positions. Hasselbeck isn’t getting any younger, Jones clearly isn’t the answer at RB, and how about a CB that can cover someone?
First things first, however, we need offensive lineman. It is a well used phrase, but utterly true; the game is won in the trenches. While we question Julius Jones abilities as a runner, there is no doubt with a better offensive line he could be productive.
Seattle’s line was built around all-world left tackle Walter Jones. After being so consistent for so long, it appears Jones career has come to an end. It is sad, but he sure paid his dues and will forever be one of the most respected Seahawks.
We knew this day was coming. It is time to find someone to step in for the legendary tackle. No one on the current roster appears to be the heir apparent, so the answer is to be found in the draft.
Taking a look at the top offensive tackles for the draft, one of these guys should be available still by the Seahawks pick, and the first three or four tackles would not be much of a reach. Here is a look at the top three in grading per Scouts Inc. All three fall in the top 12 players on the overall board.
Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
Okung is a 6-5 300 pound tackle from Oklahoma State. A four year starter, he has good size and speed for the left tackle position. Okung has been a starter for the last 34 games in a row, and has played both left and right tackle. He was a first team unanimous first team All-American selection for the 2009 season.
The highest graded offensive tackle, Okung will most likely be off the boards by the time the Seahawks pick. Most projections have him going in the top five picks.
Trent Williams, Oklahoma
Williams is a 6-5 306 pound tackle from the University of Oklahoma. A first team all American selection Williams has good size and speed, running a 4.82 40-yard dash. Williams is the second highest graded offensive tackle, started all but one game the last two years. Is a better at run block than pass protection, but has skills for both.
More likely to still be on the board when the Seahawks pick, and if he is there we should grab him.
Anthony Davis, Rutgers
The first junior on the list, Davis is a three year starter who has played in all of one game his entire career at Rutgers. At 6-5 328 pounds he has the prototypical build for a tackle. Davis is more dominate in the run game than in pass protection.
The game he missed as for violating team rules, and was also demoted to second team during fall practice for coming in overweight. He has a lot of sheer strength, but the knock on him is he doesn’t always finish the play. Still, he projects well to the NFL at the tackle position, and if Williams is not available Seattle should take a hard look at him.
Those are three tackles the Seahawks should have high on their radar going into the 2010 draft. There are several other needs, but the work needs to start on the line.
We can look at running backs, and quarterbacks with the pick from Denver if need be. That said, the idea of drafting two linemen in the first round is really appealing considering the play of the line this season in Seattle.
Russell Okung will most likely be off the board, but the Seahawks should have a shot at Trent Williams.
Most mock drafts seem to have Seattle picking a QB, RB, or DB. Those are certainly needs too, but not near as glaring as the issues of the line. The issues exposed by those first two positions, are certainly increased by a line offering little to not protection. For that reason the line should be addressed first. Hasselbeck is not getting younger, but he is also not done yet.
Look for Seattle to upgrade their line in this draft, if not, it could be painful the next few years.