The 2010 NFL Draft is over, and I think it's safe to say that Seahawks fans are seeing rays of sunlight in the gloom that was the past two seasons. However, with a team that needed as much as Seattle, not all needs were addressed in the draft. What is left for Seattle in the offseason?
Matt Hasselbeck is going to be back, but even with several upgrades to the offensive line, can he remain healthy and effective all season? Charlie "Clipboard Jesus" Whitehurst doesn't look to be a long term answer, regardless of how he does when/if Hasselbeck hits the infirmary.
I doubt we will see any moves here this offseason, but there is question about the future. I don't think this position can be ignored for 2011.
Griffith still remains unsigned, so it looks like Owen Schmitt has the job unless Ryan Powdrell steps up. Carroll is reported to be looking at a lot of two tight end sets, so I imagine that the FB is going to play a lesser role in 2010.
Keep in mind that many draft experts reported that Jameson Konz might be uses in a versatile WR/TE/H-Back role. Although Carroll was reported as stating he would be used as a receiver, I think it's possible to see him used in a versatile scenario, provided he makes the team.
Wow. I was almost certain Seattle was going to take Joe McKnight, but when I heard about the trades, I was elated. LenDale White and Leon Washington are massive upgrades to our current backfield.
Julius Jones busted, and Forsett isn't an every down back, so bringing White and Washington aboard is the first time we've seen any real life in the backfield since Shaun Alexander was actually performing.
Don't forget Quinton Ganther either. He had tough shoes to fill when Portis went down last season. He didn't get a lot of carries, but managed to get over three yards per carry and even mustered two touchdowns against the Raiders.
I think that there is plenty of competition here for 2010.
I think that Chris Baker was a big pickup. Seeing him opposite John Carlson is going to be a great duo in Seattle. I also think that McCoy was a great value in the sixth round. The Seahawks have plenty of depth and talent at this position for the coming season.
By my count, there are currently fourteen players competing for roster spots at this position. I really don't know what to think of this position.
Houshmandzadeh is probably the most proven receiver on the chart, despite the woes of last season. He'll probably return as our primary possession receiver.
Butler and Tate both have the ability to be playmakers, and I think they are definitely going to make the roster and even compete for starting time.
Aside from those three, I really can't make an honest prediction as to who else we will see in Seattle blue in 2010.
Based on the remaining free agent receivers, I can't see us making a run at anyone else to make an impact, so I doubt we will see much more activity here. (Say no to T.O.)
Chris Spencer will be back here. I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing. I admit, I'm starting to think that his issues are a bit more than growing pains.
I get that he was still green in the NFL when Mike Solari and Greg Knapp installed their form of the zone block scheme, but I'm not convinced that was the problem. I'm trying to remain positive that Alex Gibbs, the NFL guru of the zone block, will set him straight.
The signing of Ben Hamilton was a big pickup. This is a veteran of Gibbs' system, who will be able to help out the rest of the team. Aside from his knowledge, I've always considered him a solid lineman.
I also really liked Unger last season, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he has to offer with his sophomore effort.
I think Mitch Erickson could be a sleeper here in a rotational capacity.
Locklear has always been an above average right tackle in the NFL, however I think we've all seen that he is simply not the heir to Walter Jones. I was really worried come draft day that this wasn't going to get addressed.
Let the Russell Okung era begin.
Mebane is the only trusted started on the roster at this point. I think that he is going to need to really reach another level of play this season in order to make this team successful. On the other hand it's awfully unfair to put it all in his hands.
I'm not sure what the previous regime saw in Colin Cole. He seemed to be nothing more than a backup. Terrill has been an excellent backup for the 'Hawks, but he's certainly not going to be the answer as a three down defensive tackle.
Bryant could be a sleeper, but time will tell.
Vickerson was popular among the Titans defensive staff, however they must not have been too excited to keep him if they were willing to part with him for as little as they did. That's not terribly encouraging.
I think that the free agent signing of DeMarcus Granger was an interesting one. He has big league talent, but his health is a major concern. I'm reminded of Marcus Tubbs who was also expected to be a big run stuffer, but he never managed to stay on the field.
This is an error of concern, especially when there are a lot of talented tackles still left to sign. They may not be long term answers, but they could certainly provide experience to the younger players that need direction.
The retirement of Patrick Kerney was both disheartening and relieving at the same time. It would have been somewhat tragic to see him extend a wonderful career by trying to come back another season without the ability to replicate his former greatness.
Lawrence Jackson and Chris Clemons look to be the starters right now, and I'm interesting to see how this pans out. I think Jackson has a lot of potential, but he's just not getting there on the field.
Clemons looks to be the "elephant" in Carroll's defensive scheme. I think that Reed and new draftee Davis could flourish in this role as well.
There seems to be a lot of ifs at this position, and I admit I would feel more comfortable trying to find a free agent with a more consistent track record. There are a few ends out there worth making a run for.
With Tatupu returning to health, this brings back a positive note to our talented corps of linebackers. If he doesn't, I don't think we can complain as long as Hawthorne is there to back him up.
I think that Curry is going to have a much better season in a defensive scheme that makes sense. He looked confused and frustrated throughout 2009, and the ambiguity about his role didn't help. I think Mora had good intentions, but he tried to too much too soon with Curry. Carroll will hopefully have more success.
Hill is a big question mark as his off field woes have really kicked in this past season. I wouldn't be surprised to see Clemons, Davis, McCoy, Reed, and Herring all splitting time at the third linebacker position this season while Hill waits out some suspension time.
I think that this corps has a lot of potential as long as they keep their noses clean, stay healthy and work hard. A few years back this was touted as the best crew in the NFL.
Right now we have a trouble maker in Hill, a potential has been in Tatupu, and a potential "never-will-be" in Curry. 2010 is going to be a big test for all three of them, and the only way to figure this out is going to be to put them on the field.
A lot of people think that Thurmond will compete for the nickel slot if he returns from injury. In all honesty, I think that if he returns from is injury favorably, he'll be starting opposite Trufant. If not, then I doubt he'll be on the roster by the end of the season, and this will be something to address in 2011.
We aren't going to get better through free agency here, so we have to hope for the best with what we have.
I'm very excited about the draftees here. Thomas is going to start without question. The wildcard here is Chancellor. Babineaux has always been a big play maker for Seattle, however he can't cover very well, and he lacks the size to really be that run stuffing head hunter that we need. If Chancellor comes to compete, it's possible he'll win the starting job.