Here's a final rating of Seattle's positions of needs entering the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday.
In the run-up to the draft over the last 10 days or so, we’ve reviewed all of Seattle’s position groups and potential needs.
Now it’s time in one spot to rank Seattle’s positions in order of need with the draft now just a day away.
1. Offensive line: The reasoning here should be obvious as Seattle traded center Max Unger to New Orleans as part of the deal that netted Jimmy Graham, and also lost left guard James Carpenter to the Jets in free agency. The Seahawks need to get players who can at least contend to be in the rotation at those spots, if not potentially start. Seattle has had success the last few years finding offensive linemen beyond the first round who were able to start, such as RT Justin Britt in the second round in 2014, tackle Michael Bowie in the seventh round in 2013 and guard J.R Sweezy in the seventh round in 2012. With 11 picks, Seattle drafting as many as three OLs wouldn’t be a surprise.
2. Defensive line: With no immediate need among starters and having signed free agent Ahtyba Rubin to bolster the interior, maybe this seems high. But an underrated key to the Super Bowl title was the team’s seven-man rotation up front, something it struggled to duplicate last season. Seattle has lots of contenders to step into rotational roles this season among players drafted the last three years. But as has been well-documented, most have struggled to stay healthy — Cassius Marsh, Jordan Hill, Greg Scruggs, Jesse Williams, most notably — and remain question marks. So getting another interior linemen would make sense. So is getting another pass rusher, be it an outside linebacker type or a pure rush end. Seattle lost O’Brien Schofield to free agency and could look for a replacement option with Bruce Irvin’s long-term future with the team still in some question.
Seahawks 2015 Draft
- Seattle Times NFL mock draft
- Seahawks' 10 best draft picks of all time
- Seahawks' 10 worst draft picks of all time
- Position review: Defensive line
- Position review: Offensive line
- Position review: Quarterback
- Position review: Running back
- Position review: Wide receiver
- Position review: Tight end
- Position review: Linebacker
- Position review: Defensive Backs
- Position review: Special Teams
3. Running back: Maybe this seems too high with Marshawn Lynch back in the fold and Robert Turbin and Christine Michael back again as depth. But who knows how long Lynch will play, Turbin is a free agent following the 2015 season and Michael has yet to prove he can be the heir apparent. It’s also regarded as a really good year for running backs, so it makes sense to try to grab someone who could be a depth guy this year and has the potential to start in a year or two, if needed.
4. Defensive back: Here’s another spot where the Seahawks don’t necessarily need immediate starting help, but have to replenish the depth after the free agency losses of the past few years, as well as a hedge against the injuries that hit late last season. Jeremy Lane won’t be back until mid-season or so and it’s unclear exactly when Tharold Simon will return. Lane’s injury means Seattle could specifically use another nickel corner to compete with Marcus Burley, who at the moment would be atop the depth chart at that spot. Seattle also needs safety depth after the loss of Jeron Johnson, who signed with Washington.
5. Wide receiver: This might seem too low to some and I fully expect Seattle to take a receiver, if not two, with 11 picks and this considered a deep year at that spot. But the trade for Graham solved the need to get a big target and a No. 1 threat, and the Seahawks I think feel pretty good about some of the young receivers who began to emerge at the end of last season, especially with what Chris Matthews did in the Super Bowl. Still, Paul Richardson’s status for the beginning of the season is uncertain as he recovers from an ACL tear, and the Seahawks need to bolster the overall depth for training camp at this spot. But the Graham trade would seem to make this a little less of an urgency. Also, Seattle could use someone who can add to the competition at the return spots, which is most commonly found among receivers but also could come from a running back or defensive back.
6. Quarterback: The Seahawks don’t need a starter, obviously. But with Tarvaris Jackson still unsigned they might need a backup. They might want one anyway to add competition at that spot and throw another young player into the mix, especially with stated plans to use B.J. Daniels as a receiver and returner.
7. Linebackers: Seattle doesn’t need immediate starting help here. But as noted in the defensive line comment, Irvin’s long-term future remains uncertain and the Seahawks could tip their hand their a little if they take someone at that spot early in the draft. And the loss of Malcolm Smith was a hit to the depth.
8. Tight end: At the risk of repeating what was said in the receiver comment, the Graham trade solved a huge need here and both Pete Carroll and John Schneider talked pretty glowingly about how they feel about this spot following that move, as well as re-signing Anthony McCoy, and with Luke Willson, Cooper Helfet and RaShaun Allen still in the fold.