'09 Head Coach Jim Mora will be looking at the key areas of weakness on the Hawks when making a decision with the front office on what player to pick.
Obviously there are issues all around with the 'Hawks, as they have a weak offensive line, an old quarterback in Hasselbeck who has had many injury issues, injured wide receivers, and then there is the defense.
I see many holes that must be filled in the defense and they include: a solid defensive tackle to plug up the middle, another coverage corner to add to two corners who had good seasons: Marcus Trufant and Josh Wilson, and a new safety to take over at starter for the mediocre at best: Brian Russell.
I will list my top five players I would take with the top pick in '09.
An explosive receiver out of Texas Tech, Michael Crabtree had an amazing '08 season and was hands down the receiver of the year in the entire NCAA.
With 18 TD's on 93 receptions, with a total of 1,135 yards, Crabtree proved to everyone that he should of been a Heisman contender.
What he has to offer to the 'Hawks:
Great hands, good speed, fantastic after the catch, and a smart route runner who is comparable all around to the likes of young receivers such as: Anquan Boldin, Calvin Johnson, and Andre Johnson, who all are hard-nosed receivers not afraid to run through a would-be tackler.
Nate Burleson should be able to come back healthy after being out all season with injury, but Deion Branch is rarely healthy and not a true No. 1 wide receiver. Also Bobby Engram is getting old, so is Koren Robinson, and none of the young receivers look to be getting any better.
With all that said, that is why I would take Michael Crabtree with the Seahawks' first draft pick.
Andre Smith is a big boy and would fill the void on the offensive line easily. However, he is projected by most mock drafts to be taken with one of the first two picks. If he drops down, however, the Seahawks should be smart and take him with their first overall pick.
With Walter Jones as the only noteworthy offensive lineman on the 'Hawks, another addition of his talent would work wonders for Hasselbeck and the rest of the offense to be able to get the passing and running game working.
After struggling on offense all-season, the 'Hawks should look at their line as something that must improve.
Other offensive lineman prospects to consider:
Eugene Monroe, Virginia, Jason Smith, Baylor, and Michael Oher, Ole Miss.
At 6'3", 235 pounds Taylor Mays is rumored to have ran a 4.3-forty. Now think about that for awhile and then realize that he is a safety. With a Defensive End body, Taylor Mays is a freak of nature and has incredible potential.
At USC, Mays has become one, if not the elite safety in the country and with his size and speed will be great in the NFL. At USC in 2008, Mays had 176 tackles with one forced fumble and four interceptions.
With Deion Grant and Brian Russell as the starting safeties with the 'Hawks, they could use a stronger safety who isn't (unlike Russell) afraid to hit to kill people.
Mays would immediately be thrown into the starting role and would be a force to be reckoned with. The secondary would no longer be attacked as often with Mays in coverage and the 'Hawks defense could possibly be back to its hard-hitting ways of the past.
'08 Heisman winner Sam Bradford from Oklahoma is only a sophomore but is definitely NFL ready. With 48 passing touchdowns and only six interceptions in 2008, Bradford has great awareness and has the ability to throw out of the pocket which would be very important if the Hawks picked him.
*If Tim Tebow comes out in the draft, I would change him as my fourth option
With Hasselbeck not getting any younger, Seneca Wallace has performed pretty well under harsh conditions in 2008. That is why I don't see a pressing need to get a QB with the first pick, but both Bradford or Tebow have the ability to step in due to their great leadership abilities.
Out of Boston College, BJ Raji is a gap-filling defensive tackle who has good instincts and size. In 2008, Raji recorded 94 tackles and at 6-2, 323 pounds was a tank in the middle.
The Seahawks could use a run-stuffing defensive tackle like Raji considering the age of the defensive line and the bust Marcus Tubbs was do to injuries. Raji's size makes him NFL ready and he would vastly improve the defense from the start.