Chris McGrath/Getty Images
*Note: The article below is quite long and I will divide it into different sections each marked as bold. This also is my first article, so be gentle.*
The Seattle Seahawks
have been in a downward spiral ever since their 2005 super bowl appearance. Mostly due to bad draft picks and trades by former GM/President Tim Ruskell. Note:As a Seahawks
fan, i view Ruskell as evil. That is all.
Ruskell was the one behind letting one of the best guards ever, Steven Hutchinson, hit free agency even after teammates Sean Alexander, Walter Jones, and Matt Hasselbeck said they would restructure their deals, essentially taking a pay cut to keep the pro-bowl left guard. Ruskell also traded their top receiver, Darrell Jackson, to the 49ers (a team in their own division non the less), for a 4th round pick. He traded a first round pick to the Patriots for Super Bowl MVP Deon Branch who has been hindered by injury and has failed to connect with QB Matt Hasselbeck. And he also traded pro-bowl linebacker, Julian Peterson for Cory Redding. If you're asking yourself who is Cory Redding.. My answer. Exactly.
Failure to find Hutchinson's replacement in the draft and free agency left former league MVP Sean Alexander with no place to run. Failure to draft an effective CB opposite of Trufant despite using a first and second round pick on CB's left our secondary ineffective (although corner Josh Wilson is a solid nickel back). And failure to find D-Jack's replacement has hindered the offense.
Now in an attempt to fix the Seahawk's current decline, Coach/Ultimate Authority Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider will attempt to bring back the Hawks to their former glory days circa the Human Walrus. (Note: By no means am i trying to offend Mike Holmgren, but the resemblance is unquestionable).
First, lets briefly look at some position problems the Seahawk's have.
OL: A position crippled by injury last season and with Walter Jones considering retiring, the only real building block seems to be Max Unger. Since the Hawk's are planning to run the ball next year. Expect them to re-tool the line in both the draft and free agency.
RB: Forsett quickly became a fan favorite while Jones in my opinion should retire. If the Hawks really bring him back then i can't take their run game seriously. Forsett is essentially a better, younger Jones. Expect the Hawks to find a bigger back for short yardage situations and possibly the speedy play maker Carrol loves.
CB: The Hawks have moved around a lot of players here the past few years. A solid corner opposite of Trufant is needed. Yes, Trufant didn't have a great year last year but his play on paper looks worse than it was. Coming back from injury he was out of practice and instead of getting burned in some big big plays he played a little too physical and got called on some plays. Albeit it was 3 times in one game. Besides Trufant, Josh Wilson is out best Corner. He's primarily using as a nickel back but is a solid player. Kelly Jennings to me is expendable. After using a first round pick on him he has failed to produce as expected. If we could trade him for picks i'd say go ahead but if we could actually produce pressure or sacks in our pass rush i think hes numbers would be much better. Expect the hawks to address this position primarily through the draft.
DE: We are in need of a pass rusher. Or two. Patrick Kerney produced huge numbers in 2007 with 14.5 sacks but ever since his numbers have fallen. Be it by age or injury. He could provide a veteran presence to any young pass rushers we draft and he has produced 5 sacks the past two years. Not horrible. But not much compared to the taste he gave us in 2007. Tapp and Lawrence Jackson haven't put up huge numbers but i think there is great potential in Nick Reed. This is a position where you can expect the Hawks to infuse with youth and talent while possible letting a player go.
Safety: The only problem is that one of our most consistent players and team leaders Deon Grant is getting a little older and we may see his production drop off the next few years.
Lets take a look to see what players the Hawk's can aquire first and foremost with Free Agency:
If you haven't heard, where have you been? One of the biggest names to bounce around in the free agency is Brandon Marshall
. Marshall has produced over 100 catches and 1000 yards in each of his three seasons in the league. He's one of the top receivers in the game next to Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson and since he has off the field issues, the Bronco's have tendered him with a first round pick only.
If the Seahawks were to acquire Marshall, they would have to give up their 6th round pick unless a trade is worked out with the Bronco's. Assuming the Hawk's plan to trade for Marshall, lets workout some possible trade ideas for the pro bowl receiver.
One idea would be to trade our second round pick and Deon Branch to Denver
for Marshall and possibly a late round pick. although simple, i'd say DONE DEAL. We then have money to sign Marshall to the fat contract that he'll demand and improve our receiving game big time. With Marshall and Deon Butler stretching the sides and Housh up the middle as a slot and our "4th" receiver John Carlson- thats pretty solid. Housh will put up bigger numbers with less attention on him and Deon Butler will start to develop with real playing time. Branch will provide the Bronco's with a veteran receiver who could be a solid number 2 under coach McDaniels system as he played with McDaniels in his years with the Patriots.
Another possible trade for Marshall would be to trade our 6th pick and either our second round pick, or a player such, as Deon Branch or someone more expendable for Denver's 11th round pick and Brandon Marshall plus maybe a pick as high as their 3rd depending if we trade our second rounder or not. Bottom line, we move back in the draft still able to get a high quality player while picking up one of the best in the game for only our second round pick or Deon Branch.
As there doesn't seem to be much interest for Marshall so far the Hawks won't push for him. With Cincy likely out of the race after signing Antonio Bryant the market for the young star seems to be quiet. If you have any trade ideas for Marshall that would benefit both sides, please post them below.
While acquiring Brandon Marshall would be huge, i'd say one of the most exciting trade prospects is with the Eagles
. The Seahawks have been in contact with the Eagles about one of their QB's. McNabb doesn't make too much sense as he is one year younger than Hasselbeck but with less concern for injury. The Eagles top brass also view McNabb as expendable as he is entering the final year of his contract and they are preparing to move on with Kevin Kolb as their stater. But Kolb, the other number 4, would make real sense to Seattle as he would be the future QB Carroll desires. If you aren't familiar with Kolb, go look at his stats last year. While he only played in 3 games, he produced big numbers in two of the games. The asking price for Kolb may be a little high as the Eagles will most likely want a first rounder for him.
Sound off, would you be willing to trade for Kolb? While unexperienced, He has shown in those two games that he's more than ready and the Eagles are ready to start him in 2011 or 2010 if they trade McNabb.
A possible idea would be to trade one of our first round picks (either a 6th,14th, or *11th, if the trade idea above for Marshall goes through*) to the Eagles for Kolb and a mid round pick as high as their second.
What trades would you consider for Kolb? Note: Kolb was a second round pick in 2007, so odds are they won't take our second round pick only.
Derek Anderson of the Browns
is set to visit the Seahawks on Thursday and the Cardinals
on Friday. If a deal for Kolb isn't met, he could be a valuable backup if signed.
The Seahawks have already signed the CFL's top rusher in Ricky Foley. Foley was teammates with Cameron Wake who is now with the Fins. Foley can also be used as a linebacker and can compete for playing time.
starting Left Tackle Jared Gaither currently has a first round tender on him and the Ravens don't plan to bring him back as Michale Oher is ready to step in. The Hawks could go after him, but i think a trade would make more sense. If trades for Marshall or Kolb go through, dont expect the Hawks to make much noise for Gaither.
The Draft for Seattle is more important than ever, but who we draft is completely defined by free agency and the picks before us. *Assuming trades for Marshall and Kolb fail, lets see who the Hawks should draft*
The current draft plans for the Seattle Seahawks on all major mock drafts seems to consist of a few things. Those consisting of the 6th overall pick being either an OL such as Okung or another top OL such as Anthony Davis or possibly going the route of a QB such a Bradford or Clausen. While the 14th pick is primarily RB CJ Spiller or a top DE such as Derrick Morgan or Jason Pierre-Paul.
While i agree these are great players, everyone needs to realize the history of Alex Gibbs and why odds are against the Hawks using a first round pick on an offensive linemen no matter how big the need. Line coach Alex Gibbs, the creator of zone blocking, has a certain criteria for offensive linemen that he likes and when he finds one it most likely will be with picks 3-7. He doesn't care about if a prospect's reach is 33+ inches but more about their athletic ability and other intangibles. Bruce Cambell's athleticism seems to be more of what coach Gibbs likes, but he is a stretch at number 6 and with the Raiders
draft plans to consist of drafting physical freaks, consider him gone.
Also we are not signing CJ spiller. Sure Carroll would love to get a Reggie Bush
type player in this years draft but we have more needs and can pickup a productive back in the later rounds. Our goal in rushing is 4 yards, 4 yards, 4 yards. The RB class is deep and we need a bigger guy to compliment Forsett who is doing just fine. We most likely will drop Julius Jones, or if possible trade him.
With pick #6 the Hawks could either take the best player available, or find the future of our franchise. I am talking about Eric Berry or Jimmy Clausen. Carroll's ties with Clausen are deep and he could sit under Hasselbeck's wing for a year while learning the system He would provide the franchise a young future QB and a step in the right direction. On the other hand there is Eric Berry who would upgrade our secondary immensely and his comparisons with Ed Reed seem legitimate. If both are taken by the 6th pick the Hawks most likely will take the top DE available being Derrick Morgan or Jason Pierre-Paul.
An interesting pick for the Seahawks at number 6 would be the NT Dan Williams. The possibility of switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 would be interesting and Dan Williams is the best NT available. a dominate NT is needed for a 3-4 and Williams would provide that first step.
Just as our first pick is determined by the picks prior, pick #14 is determined by who we choose at #6.
If we walk away with a top DE don't expect us to draft another. But if we draft Clausen or Berry i would expect a top DE to be taken with #14. Derrick Morgan or Jason Pierre-Paul could fall here, but Everson Giffen played with Carroll as USC and could be an option.
If we pick a DE with our 6th pick, a number of options are available. There's always the chance we could pickup a top OL, or even the top guard Mike Iupati. Safety is an option, with Earl Thomas possibly available or even Taylor Mays as he is a product of USC and a Seattle native. Theres even a possibility that CJ Spiller is taken, but i would be shocked by that move. Joe Haden's 40 time has dropped his stock significantly and if he makes it past the 49er's at 13, he could be a real option at 14.
One name that never seems to disappear is Tim Tebow. The Seahawks have scheduled a private workout with Tebow after his pro day on March 17th. If his mechanics are approved he could be an option with our second or third pick and would be able to sit behind Hasselbeck for a year or two while improving his game. Although some will say this could all be a smoke screen created by Seattle, since there are a limited number of private workouts a team can have with a player, it may not be so.
Who do you think the Hawk's should go after in free agency or the draft and what parts of my article do you find bogus? Sound off below.