A continuing look at the Seahawks’ position-by-position needs before the NFL draft, this time the defensive backs.
Players currently on roster
Starters: CB Richard Sherman, CB Tharold Simon/Cary Williams, FS Earl Thomas, SS Kam Chancellor.
Backups: FS Dion Bailey, CB Will Blackmon, CB Marcus Burley, CB Jeremy Lane, CB Eric Pinkins, S/CB DeShawn Shead, S Steven Terrell.
As long as Sherman, Chancellor and Thomas are patrolling the back of Seattle’s defense, this will remain a position of strength. Sherman (elbow), Chancellor (knee) and Thomas (shoulder) are coming off injuries, and their progress will be one of the preseason’s bigger story lines.
The Seahawks lost cornerback Byron Maxwell to free agency, but signed veteran corner Williams to compete with third-year corner Simon. That should be one of the more intense position battles of the preseason, especially throwing in veteran free-agent signee Blackmon.
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
Nickel corner Lane (arm) might have to miss the beginning of the season while rehabbing, but Burley returns.
The Seahawks could look for depth at safety. Shead has been the secondary’s utility man, and he is capable of playing free safety, strong safety and cornerback. But Seattle might be in the market for either a bigger strong safety or another ground-eating free safety as insurance for Thomas and Chancellor.
DRAFT NEED (on scale of 1-10): 3. In the five drafts that coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have had, they have taken a defensive back in the first three rounds only once: Thomas in 2010, their first year together. So history indicates that although Carroll and Schneider might add secondary depth, it likely wouldn’t be until the later rounds.
Possible draft fits
When looking at cornerbacks in whom the Seahawks might be interested, the first thing to consider is height: Who are the taller corners available in the draft? BYU cornerback Robertson Daniel fits the mold. He’s 6 feet 1 and weighs 209 pounds, and he should be available in the later rounds.
An option at free safety could be Gerod Holliman, who is raw but had 14 interceptions in his final season at Louisville. He has also played some single-high safety, which is what the Seahawks demand of Thomas.
One last thing to note: Don’t forget that the Seahawks also could draft a safety and try him at corner. That’s what they did last year with Eric Pinkins, a sixth-round pick.
Coming Wednesday: Receivers.