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With the draft nearly three months away and Free Agency a question mark, there is plenty of time to evaluate possible talent for 2011. The NFL Combine in late February represents the true start of pre-draft season and will begin to bring better clarity to the value of 2011 draftees. Five initial thoughts on potential additions for the 2011 roster, via draft and eventual free agency:
1. I am not currently sold on Kevin Kolb, or his lofty price tag, and am opposed to trading for Carson Palmer; The Seahawks need to turn towards the draft. Aaron Rodgers is the only Quarterback Schneider, with his superiors, have taken in the 1st round during his 17 years as an NFL personnel evaluator and executive; note for April's draft. Going into the combine, I like former TCU stud Andy Dalton: 42-8 in four years as a starter, 25-1 the past two seasons, he showed a steady improvement in completion percentage and passer rating during his collegiate career. He is accurate and has a high Football IQ. His value will fluctuate, but he could be available in the 2nd or 3rd round; I expect the Seahawks to “work” the draft and not reach for a Quarterback, even if that means moving down in round 1 for the sake of value.
2. The Seahawks need to add a powerful blocker in the backfield. Stanford Fullback Owen Marecic, 6’0 and 246 pounds, was a two way player at Stanford; his versatility, toughness and IQ make him a great fit. Arkansas TE D.J. Williams, 6’2 and 236 pounds, is team first, talented player that projects as a versatile NFL Fullback, possibly “H-Back.” I expect the Seahawks to address this need in the middle rounds.
3. If the Seahawks are to invest in a premiere Free Agent, especially on defense, I would target two players: Raiders Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is on the top of most team’s Free Agent lists, but his services will come at a price of $12-15 million a year; his addition would give the Seahawks versatility in creating aggressive blitz packages, as he can lockdown an area of the field. The other, can’t miss option is Ravens dominant and versatile Defensive Tackle Haloti Ngata; at 6’4, 350 pounds he would create a fearsome tandem with Red Bryant and give the Seahawks great scheme versatility.
4. Free Agents on my secondary list: Falcons Offensive Lineman Harvey Dahl and Tyson Clabo, Chargers Receiver Malcolm Floyd and Fullback Mike Tolbert, Panthers Linebacker James Anderson.
5. Based on team needs and Schneider’s draft history, possible Seahawks’ draft strategies: A focus on the Offensive Line in the first 45 picks and after round 4; a Defensive Back in rounds 1-3; Defensive lineman in rounds 1, 3 or 6; Schneider teams have taken two Quarterbacks in rounds 1-3 during his personnel career; a Middle Linebacker, downfield Receiver or Running back taken in the first three rounds is my prediction as the surprise Seahawks pick early in this draft. I will be disappointed if a strong, one cut, downhill runner is not taken in the late rounds. Players I’m currently focused on: NT Phil Taylor, WR’s Tandon Doss and Vincent Brown, DE J.J. Watt, OL Mike Pouncey, G Danny Watkins, LB Mason Foster, DB Rahim Moore, CB Jimmy Smith, Wisconsin teammates OT Gabe Carimi and OL John Moffitt, RB’s Bilal Powell, Delone Carter and Kendall Hunter.